Elephant exposed to cold appears OK - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Elephant exposed to cold appears OK

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A New Bedford zoo elephant accidentally exposed to recent cold temperatures appears to be fine.

Zookeepers at the Buttonwood Park Zoo said the animal appears to be in good health.

Ruth the elephant is 55 years old and escaped from her heated barn during Friday's snowstorm. Officials said the animal got out because an employee forgot to padlock her enclosure.

"Trust me when I tell you that these keepers care about these elephants as much, if not more, than anybody in the world, and nobody is more devastated. They made a mistake. They will be kicking themselves forever. They wish they could go back in time. They just made a human error. And we're all susceptible to mistakes. It could have been tragic. It wasn't tragic. And we're very thankful for that. And we never want to see an animal harmed because of human error," said zoo director Keith Lovett.

Zoo curator Shara Martin said there is still a worry that the animal could have frostbite on its extremities, which may not be noticeable for some time.

The elephant is on antibiotics as a precaution.

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