Elephant that slipped into moat gets out

Nov. 2, 2009

An elephant that slipped into the moat of her outdoor exhibit area at the Milwaukee County Zoo Monday afternoon was back in her indoor enclosure Monday night, a zoo official said.

Zookeepers used a mixture of treats, including pumpkins, to coax Ruth, an 8,000 pound African elephant, up a series of stairs about 7:15 p.m., zoo spokeswoman Jenifer Diliberti said.

A zookeeper found Ruth in the approximately 6-7-feet deep moat about 3:15 p.m., Diliberti said.

The elephant was checked out by a veterinarian who determined that she was not injured, Diliberti said.

Ruth came to the Milwaukee County Zoo in December, 2006 from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas.

In October and November 2008 a polar bear at the zoo named Zero spent 17 days in the moat of his outdoor exhibit area after repeating a tumble he took 15 years before.

His fall was broken by a safety net and Zero was finally sedated and hoisted up from the moat by a crane.

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