Zurich firemen use crane to haul old elephant to her feet

Firemen were called to Zurich Zoo on Tuesday afternoon to help a 49-year-old elephant who had been pushed over by her herdmates and couldn’t get up again.

Zurich firemen use crane to haul old elephant to her feet
Druk needed a little help to get up. Photo: Robert Zingg/Zurich Zoo

Druk, the oldest of the zoo’s elephants, found herself on the ground after a tussle with other members of the herd, the zoo said in a statement.

Seeing that the elderly elephant didn’t have the energy to stand up by herself, zookeepers called on Zurich city fire service to help.

Using a crane, the recue team was able to lift the animal to her feet and lead her safely into the indoor enclosure, where she was checked over by a vet.

Photo: Robert Zingg
Photo: Robert Zingg/Zurich Zoo

The oldest animal at Zurich Zoo, Druk arrived at the zoo from Bhutan in 1968 when she was just a baby.

She bore no offsprig herself, but has played an important role as matriarch and ‘aunt’ to younger elephants, said the zoo.

Now in her twilight years, it’s not the first time the elephant has needed help to stand up.

Though the zoo hopes Druk will rally, should she should start to show signs of suffering it would consider euthanizing her, it said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Runaway flamingo turns up in Bern’s historic old town

The Swiss capital received a surprise visitor on Monday night in the form of a flamingo.

Runaway flamingo turns up in Bern’s historic old town
File photo: Depositphotos

Trams and buses were forced to stop as the pink bird wandered around the city’s Casinoplatz square, according to eyewitnesses.

Police managed to divert the flamingo off tram tracks but then needed half an hour to catch the animal.

It later emerged the bird was an escapee from the city’s Dählhölzli animal park.

Dählhölzli director Bernd Schildger said he wasn’t sure why the flamingo had decided to go on an evening excursion into the city.

“The scientific literature indicates flamingos stay in a group,” he told regional daily Berner Zeitung. When several birds remain in the same location for a period of time, the other animals stick around too.

“We have around 40 years’ experience with flamingos and that’s what we have seen. Obviously, this flamingo has not read the literature,” the animal park director said.

Schildger added it was currently not possible to clip the wings of flamingos at the animal park as the animals were brooding and could not be disturbed.

He told Swiss news portal 20 Minuten that around 20 to 30 percent of the flamingos at the park had their wings clipped, and this was generally sufficient to deter other birds from flying away, even though they were perfectly capable of doing so.

Read also: Swiss joggers frighten baby llama to death