Melbourne Zoo denies cruelty claims

Unharmed: Claims of elephant cruelty have been rejected by Melbourne Zoo, which has defended its staff. Picture: David Caird
Unharmed: Claims of elephant cruelty have been rejected by Melbourne Zoo, which has defended its staff. Picture: David Caird

2008-01-20 - Melbourne, Australia , Kellie Cameron

MELBOURNE Zoo has hit back at claims an elephant was stabbed and animals mistreated on their grounds. Zoos Victoria Life Sciences director Matt Vincent said the merlin spike, carried by keepers to care for elephants' feet, did not break the animal's skin and was used only when two keepers were at risk. Reports accused a handler of stabbing an elephant, Dokkoon, more than 12 times with a sharp metal spike to restrain it. Mr Vincent rejected outright all claims of animal abuse and cruelty.

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