Spanish zoo worker dies after being struck by elephant's trunk
A Spanish zoo worker has died after an elephant struck him with her trunk.
Authorities in the Cantabria region are investigating after Joaquin Gutierrez died in hospital on Tuesday, several hours after a female elephant hit him while he was cleaning her enclosure at the Cabarceno Nature Park near Santander.
The blow knocked Mr Gutierrez (44) backwards and he hit his head against the pen’s bars, officials said.
Mr Gutierrez had been working with elephants at the zoo for almost 20 years, according to local tourism chief Javier Lopez Marcano.
The elephant that struck him had a foot infection and is believed to be pregnant, Mr Marcano said. She weighs more than 4.4 tons.
Police and CANTUR, the regional tourism organisation that runs Cabarceno, are investigating the incident.