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Elephant hurts keeper at Toledo Zoo

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Zookeeper hospitalized after incident with elephant
  • Keeper had cared for elephant since its birth in 2003, zoo says
  • Zoo says it plans to keep elephants on exhibit

(CNN) -- An elephant keeper was injured by an elephant at the Toledo, Ohio, Zoo on Thursday afternoon, according to officials.

Don RedFox, the keeper, was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center, said zoo spokesman Andi Norman. RedFox's injuries are not life threatening, according to the zoo. RedFox is the elephant manager and has been employed at the zoo for more than 30 years, mostly working with elephants.

The elephant involved in the incident is a 7-year-old named "Louie." "He was born at the zoo in 2003 and had been under the keeper's care since then," Norman said.

The incident between the keeper and the elephant occurred at 3:45 p.m. ET Thursday, said Norman. "A zoo visitor witnessed the incident and notified zoo authorities," she said.

An investigation is under way to determine what happened and a plan is being developed to manage the elephants over the next several days, Norman said. "The zoo currently plans to keep the elephants on exhibit," she said.