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Enraged Elephant Attacks Zookeeper

December 25, 1991| Associated Press

HOUSTON — An enraged elephant, depressed and aggressive since watching her newborn calf die two months ago, attacked a zookeeper, breaking his collarbone and four ribs, the zoo said.

"It was like a bolt of lightning, it all happened so fast," Red Bayer, assistant manager of the Houston Zoological Gardens, said.

Indu, a four-ton Asian elephant who has had trouble bearing healthy offspring, refused to obey commands and shoved her way into a small enclosure with another female elephant, Methai, and her 5-month-old calf, Bayer said.

She slammed Methai into a fence. When the elephant trainer, a 40-year-old man who was not identified, yelled at her to stop, she charged him, slammed him into a fence and butted him with her head, Bayer said. A second worker distracted the elephant, allowing the injured man to escape.

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