Scary confrontation with elephant

July 21, 2010 4:55:13 PM PDT
We are now getting our first look at the surveillance video that captures the Toledo Zoo incident between Louie the elephant and his trainer. We want to warn you that the video is a bit graphic. In the video, we see elephant manager, Don Redfox walk into the enclosure. Both he and Louie the elephant appear startled to see one another. Redfox then leaves the enclosure and returns a short time later with what is called a Guide, a tool used in training.

Louie doesn't appear to respond to Redfox's commands and comes at him multiple times. Redfox is eventually able to get up and walk out of the enclosure.

The encounter happened back on July 1, but the video wasn't made public until today. The Redfox family filed a temporary restraining order blocking the release of the video. The family has withdrawn its objection to the release of the tape. They say they want to end the speculation that Louie was mistreated. Don Redfox, 53, has worked with elephants at the Toledo Zoo since 1977. He's worked with 7 year old Louie since his birth.

On July 1, Louie came at Redfox multiple times striking him with his tusk. Redfox spent time in intensive care and today remains hospitalized in serious condition.

After the assault, 13abc and other media outlets requested security video from the two cameras located in the enclosure. Our request was denied because Redfox's family filed a temporary restraining order prohibiting its release.

According to the court order: "The Redfox family believed, and continues to believe, that any interest the public may have in viewing the security tape was outweighed by their concern with Mr. Redfox's medical condition and his recovery from injuries sustained in the incident, along with the privacy associated therewith."

The court order further states: "The Redfox family is not waiving its right to privacy and reinforces its continuing belief that releasing the security tape does nothing more than provide an opportunity to sensationalize a tragic incident"

Again, the Redfox family consented to the release of the video to, in their words, end the speculation that Louie was mistreated.


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