Elephant stomps Chinese keeper, will live to tell about it
This story is flippant enough, but why would the elephant be "possibly suffering from sunstroke?" When I visited the Beijing zoo last March, I saw some animals in conditions of great neglect, elephants included. Elephants are accustomed to hot weather, but they need shelter. What were the occupational safety measures that would have protected the worker? Put those omissions together and you get some idea about journalism with Chinese characteristics.
BEIJING (Reuters) - An elephant that stamped on his keeper at a Chinese zoo in the mating season and crushed him to death has been declared innocent because of mitigating circumstances, Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.
Hu Tianmin was cleaning the elephant house at the zoo in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, in August when the five-ton, 20-year-old male Asian elephant named "Zhongbo" lifted him up, threw him to the ground and stamped on him.
"The production safety administration in Kunming confirmed that the victim was responsible for his own tragedy because he had entered the elephant pen all alone and without adopting any protective measures, in violation of zoo rules," Xinhua said.
Zoo officials said it was the mating season and the elephant was possibly suffering from sunstroke at the time, which made it irritable and prone to attack.
The general manager of the zoo and at least four officials in charge of security were penalized by the production safety administration, Xinhua said without giving details.
"Visitors and zookeepers have been advised not to get too close to the animals in future," it said.
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