BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: UK: England
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Tuesday, 9 October, 2001, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Killer elephant put down
Asian elephant
Mr Hughes was crushed by a four-ton Asian elephant
Kumara, the elephant which killed a keeper at Chester Zoo has been destroyed.

The 34-year-old female Asian elephant killed senior keeper Richard Hughes last February.

Kumara had been suffering severe episodes of colic in her gut and was also being treated for chronic foot and joint infections and arthritis.

It is thought her illness may have caused her to be aggressive.


It is thought that Kumara's ill health may explain her increased irritability and aggression towards staff and other elephants

Chris Vere, press officer

Chris Vere, the press officer for Chester Zoo said: "Kumara's health and welfare was discussed in great depth... there was unanimous agreement that nothing further could be done and it would be unacceptable to let her continue a life of chronic pain.

"The humane decision was taken that the elephant should be put down."

Mr Vere said: "The foot infection was unresponsive to treatment and spread to her front legs.

"It was clearly causing Kumara great distress and had made her lame.

Pinned to wall

"It is thought that Kumara's ill health may explain her increased irritability and aggression towards staff and other elephants."

Mr Hughes, from Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, lost consciousness when Kumara pinned him to the wall with her trunk and attacked him as she was leaving an indoor enclosure at the zoo.

He was not the first keeper which Kumara had attacked.

Since Mr Hughes' death she had been kept in a separate pen to other animals.

See also:

08 Feb 00 | UK
Killer elephant spared
07 Feb 00 | UK
Elephant crushes keeper
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories