A zookeeper is now in stable condition and is recovering in Royal North Shore Hospital after being crushed by a young elephant at Sydney's Taronga Zoo on Friday.
The Zookeeper, 40-year-old Lucy Melo, was left unconscious and not breathing after being pinned to a post by a 2-year-old elephant. The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. on Friday at Targona Zoo while Melo was participating in a routine training activity with the 2-year-old elephant known as Pathi Harn. After being pinned to the post, Melo stopped breathing for five minutes until being revived, Yahoo! News reported.
Melo was freed from the elephant after two other zookeepers, who were close by at another stall, were able to get the elephant off of her. The two zookeepers then called for an ambulance, CNN reported.
"We're all relieved to hear Lucy's condition remains stable and we're continuing to provide support for her family and her fellow keepers, while we continue our programs for the whole herd," said Taronga's director Cameron Kerr. "The elephant keepers are caring for the herd and continuing the normal daily activities to support the elephants, including Pathi Harn." Yahoo! News also reported that Taronga said in a statement that, "The Zoo's elephant herd, including the young male calf Pathi Harn, 2, which was involved in yesterday's incident, is calm and well and in the elephant paddock as usual."
Melo had cared for the elephant, Pathi Harn, since he was born. Pathi Harn is an Asian elephant who was expected to be dead until his mother gave birth to him after being in labor with him for eight days; On March 10, 2010 Pathi Harn was eventually born alive and well. On the zoo's website, Pathi Harn is described as a "very happy calf who is always looking for attention," CNN reported.
At the time of the accident the zoo, a harbourside institution that is very popular among tourists, had been opened to the public. Taronga is embarking on an investigation regarding the accident that happened at the zoo on Friday; however it is still uncertain why the elephant turned on Melo during a routine training session, Yahoo! News reported.