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Man Injured When Thrown by Elephant at Zoo

July 1, 1994

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ An elephant that has given tens of thousands of rides at the Louisville Zoo escaped and then injured a man by picking him up with her trunk and throwing him to the ground.

Troy Ramsey was injured Wednesday evening after the 8,000-pound elephant wandered off from her fenced-in quarters. He was listed in fair condition Thursday after surgery at University of Louisville Hospital.

″He was thrust up and down by the strength of the elephant ... about a half-dozen times,″ said his attorey, Michael McMahon.

Kenya, a 21-year-old African elephant, is one of two elephants that give rides at the zoo. She apparently unlatched the gate to search for a ball she had dropped while returning to her quarters, said zoo spokeswoman Diana DeVaughn.

″Elephants are very intelligent,″ DeVaughn said. ″It’s not uncommon for them to unlatch gates. They do it all the time.″

DeVaughn said the elephant was calm during and after the accident. The animal has given more than 100,000 rides and is very docile, DeVaughn said.

The elephant rides will be shut down pending an investigation.

″We won’t open them again until everyone is comfortable,″ she said.

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