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Elephants in Hanover Zoo ‘living in daily fear’ due to beatings by keepers

The Local: ‘Zookeepers are being accused of abusing young elephants in Hanover after activists caught them on film hitting the animals, public broadcaster ARD reports… The news show received footage from animal rights group Peta, which last year hid cameras around the zoo to track the keepers’ behaviour. The footage reportedly shows how zookeepers hit young elephants with so-called “elephant hooks” – a 70-centimetre rod with a metal hook and tip at the end. The show reports that the zookeepers use the instruments to coerce the young animals to do tricks.

In one instance caught on film, Report Mainz said that one zookeeper can be seen dragging a baby elephant up by the neck, causing the young animal to cry out. In another instance, a zookeeper could be seen forcefully hitting a young elephant on the head. On another occasion an elephant reportedly tried to escape, but two keepers appear to run after it and threaten the animal with their elephant hooks. Then through beatings and threats, they appear to get the elephant to walk in a circle, sit on its behind and “beg”, the TV show reports… After being confronted with the footage, the zoo insisted that the recordings do not discernibly show the animals being beaten. Instead, zoo director Casdorff said the zookeepers were simply guiding the elephants’. SOURCE…

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