Zoo Slapped With $12,500 Fine After Elephant Attacks and Injures Zookeeper

Published by PETA.

Following PETA’s March 3 complaint to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the agency has fined the Fort Worth Zoo $12,500 in relation to September’s elephant attack.

As detailed in the citation, OSHA investigated and fined the Fort Worth Zoo $7,000 for failing to protect employees from “recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees,” specifically, “the hazards such as … [being] struck-by, caught-in-between and impalement while working with elephants.” The zoo was also fined $5,500 for failing to report a work-related inpatient hospitalization within 24 hours.

This isn’t the first elephant attack at the Fort Worth Zoo. In 1987, an elephant knocked down and crushed a zookeeper, killing him.

Working Asian Elephant© freeimages.com/Andreas Krappweis

Last autumn’s elephant attack should have prompted an overhaul of the Fort Worth Zoo’s elephant exhibit, not an attempted cover-up. OSHA is sending a strong message by fining this misguided facility, and PETA is calling on the agency to go a step further and join the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in requiring protective barriers between elephants and zookeepers, for everyone’s safety.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind