Elephant crushes keeper to death

An elephant crushed a keeper to death at the Vienna Zoo today.

An elephant crushed a keeper to death at the Vienna Zoo today.

Zoo keeper Gerd Kohl, 39, was killed after he had showered the elephant, Abu, as part of the morning routine, the Austria Press Agency said, citing veterinarian Thomas Voracek.

The elephant, a four-year-old bull, pinned Kohl to the wall and speared him with his tusks, APA reported. Kohl, who had worked at the zoo since 1998, had cared for the elephant since his birth there.

The accident happened around 11am (10am Irish Time) today, police spokesman Manfred Reinthaler said. A colleague who witnessed the killing was treated for shock.

The zoo’s elephant exhibit was closed as police gathered evidence.

The zoo, located near the imperial castle Schoenbrunn, is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions. It was founded in 1752.

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