• Three male staff members have been dismissed for allegedly hitting the two elephants
  • The animals have not been left with permanent injuries
  • Police have arrested and bailed the accused trio

This is the enclosure where Tonzi and another elephant were allegedly whipped with bamboo canes.

Three zoo keepers have now been sacked and arrested after they were accused of harming the two animals at a Leicestershire zoo.

Three male staff members are accused of beating Tonzi the elephant with bamboo canes after reportedly being caught on CCTV camera.

A source at the zoo claims that the keepers took turns hitting the 28-year-old Asian elephant but left no marks, so it was not obvious that the animal had been harmed, it was reported.

It is believed that the other two elephants were hit with bamboo canes.

But when other staff members were checking through CCTV footage of the zoo, they spotted the alleged abuse.

The source told The Sun: ‘It appeared Tonzi was being beaten by the keepers.

‘Apparently the keepers were taking it in turns to hit her with bamboo canes.’

The source claims that the zoo fears people will not visit the Leicestershire attraction after the alleged cruelty to the star animal.

Tonzi, who originally came from a timber camp in Burma, became a grandmother this year when her daughter Tara had a baby.

The zoo, which has an 80-acre site, confirmed that they had sacked staff following the alleged incident and said the animals had not been permanently harmed.

A spokesman said: ‘Three members of Twycross Zoo staff have been dismissed.

‘This action follows an internal investigation and relates to an animal welfare issue.  Twycross Zoo acted rapidly and comprehensively as soon as the issue came to light.

‘The zoo immediately instigated an extensive investigation in line with its internal policies and legal welfare requirements.

‘The small group of animals this incident relates to suffered no lasting injury, are behaving normally and are now doing extremely well.

‘The animals have been and continue to be on full public show.

‘The incident was reported immediately to the police who are investigating.

”The animals involved are being regularly checked by veterinary experts who report they are well and behaving normally. The animals have been and continue to be on full public show.

‘Despite this Tywcross Zoo has a zero tolerance towards such behaviour.

‘This case involved rogue individuals, acting in complete disregard to their moral, contractual and legal requirements.

‘Everyone at the zoo is extremely upset at their actions.’

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said that there was an ongoing investigation.

She said: ‘We can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation in connection with the unnecessary suffering of an elephant at Twycross Zoo.

‘The beating happened in September this year.

‘Three men have been arrested in connection with the incident and released on police bail for a later date, pending further inquiries.’

A 59-year-old elephant called Anne, who was savagely attacked and beaten, was rescued last year because of a Daily Mail campaign.

She was Britain’s last circus elephant, and was beaten and stabbed with a pitchfork by her sadistic keeper.

Her misery was exposed in March last year after campaigners from Animal Defenders International shot secret footage of her being abused.

After a nationwide outcry, she ass safely re-homed at Longleat Safari park where, thanks to the generosity of Daily Mail readers, a £400,000 sanctuary is to be built just for her.

News Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2222877/Twycross-Zoo-keepers-sacked-arrested-beating-star-elephant-Tonzi-canes.html#ixzz2AKjm6Vrs
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