Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Expert views on the death of Medi

Posted: 12 July 2013. Updated: 12 July 2013

Dr Marion Garaï, Elephant Specialist Advisory Group: “This video is indeed extremely disturbing to watch. An elephant with a lame trunk, and who allegedly does not lie down at night any more (she obviously had her reasons), should never have been allowed to lie down in the water. She knows she cannot get up easily and her keeper should have known. Getting up from the water is even more difficult than on land….. It was totally irresponsible and unnecessary to allow someone to jump around on her. It would have been more fun just to watch an elephant play in the water. It shows very poor insight into the suffering of the elephant on the part of the person, just trying to show off. Medi very obviously is desperately trying to swing herself into an upright position but cannot. The person on top of her makes it even more difficult. If this is the keeper, he should have known that she is in a weak condition and has a lame trunk and he should have realised that she is trying to get up and that she could not hold her trunk above water.

Not once could she manage to lift her trunk out of the water to breath. By the time the man on top of her realises that she is struggling for life and holds her trunk tip out of the water, it is obviously too late.
Whatever caused her sad death, drowning or heart failure or both, was exacerbated by her lying in the water with additional weight, plus being terrified as she could not breath and get up. What a sad unnecessary death.”

Dipl.-Biol. Tobias Dornbusch, European Elephant Group: “I belive that Mädi is an elephant, who does not lay down for sleeping, etc. for a long time, because she knows that she can not stand up, when she lays down on a side.
At 2:20 min in the video René Renz comes to Mädi and Mädi goes to lay down into the water. From this moment on, the problems began...(I can not say, that Mädi went to lay down because of a command from René Renz or from her own opinion)...
Between 2:25 min and 4:45 min, Mädi fights for her life and wants to come up. The whole public thinks that Mädi likes to play with Rene Renz and to shove him into the water. But I think that this is not the reason for Mädi’s movement in laying down. In reality, Mädi likes to stand up. You can see that her trunk does not go over water level from 2:20 min. Because of this she comes up with her head every ca. 20 seconds.

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