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Startled elephant escapes pen at zoo



Published: Mon, June 11, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Startled elephantescapes pen at zoo

DENVER -- An elephant escaped Sunday from a bathing area at the Denver Zoo and toppled a baby's stroller before it was recaptured.

The 6,700-pound Asian elephant was frightened by a falling water drum as it and a smaller elephant were being washed. It took almost three hours to get the elephant, an 18-year-old pachyderm named Hope, back into a pen.

The baby received a bump on her head when the elephant knocked over the stroller, said fire department spokesman Randy Atkinson. The girl was treated at a hospital and released.

The animal's trainer received cuts and bruises, a man sprained his ankle and a woman suffered an asthma attack while running away from the elephant, Atkinson said.

Zoo workers were eventually able to sedate the elephant, zoo spokeswoman Angela Baier said. The other elephant, a much smaller animal named Amigo, never left the bathing area.

Museum to returntotem pole to tribe

CHICAGO -- The Field Museum of Natural History will give one of its most treasured items, a 27-foot totem pole, to an American Indian tribe that asked for its return.

The totem pole was taken as part of an 1899 expedition to collect American Indian artifacts and other items in the Alaskan territory for the museum. It will be shipped by summer to Cape Fox, Alaska, a spot considered sacred by members of the Tlingit Native American nation.

"This is a very important object for us to have returned and it will be the cause for much celebration," said Irene Shields, a spokeswoman for the 16,000-member Tlingit nation. "These items are so important for us to have to convey our traditions and history to our children and grandchildren."

The pole is the latest of several items the museum has returned to American Indian groups under terms of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

The museum, which has one of the country's largest American Indian collections, has returned a carved wheel, beads and eagle feathers to the Arapaho tribe in northern Arizona. It has also given back a stone basket to the San Manuel Mission band of Indians in California, and a shaman's robe to the Kootznoowoo in Alaska.

Police re-enact crimeat site of massacre

IKEDA, Japan -- Mourners bid farewell today to the last of the eight children killed in a stabbing attack at an elementary school last week, and counselors began visits to families in the shaken neighborhood.

Investigators re-enacted the crime at the school outside Osaka this morning to put together the pieces of Friday's rampage, which began when the attacker burst in to a first-grade classroom.

The funeral for Yuka Kiso, 7, was today in the Osaka suburb of Toyonaka. It was the last of the funerals for the young victims.

"We wanted to be with her as long as possible, so we delayed the funeral until today," her father, Kenichi Kiso, was quoted as saying by Kyodo News agency.

The funeral came as authorities were grappling with the implications of last week's shocking attack, the worst mass-killing since a doomsday cult killed 12 people in a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subways in 1995.

The Education Ministry has instructed all elementary, middle and high schools to re-evaluate campus security. Kyoto Prefecture, next to Osaka, has assigned 500 police officers to patrol the area's elementary schools in the wake of the attack, said prefectural spokesman Joji Kotani.

Mediation efforts

JERUSALEM -- Diplomatic efforts pressed ahead today to bridge wide gaps between Israelis and Palestinians on how to follow through with a plan both sides say they essentially support as the basis for getting peace talks back on track.

Differences were wide enough to force the postponement Sunday of a three-way security meeting that was to be convened by CIA chief George Tenet. Instead, Tenet met separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

It wasn't clear whether Tenet would get the sides together later today, a move not expected until the CIA chief deemed it likely the Bush administration's deepest intervention in the Mideast crisis would yield results.

A shaky cease-fire is in place. But Israel insists on securing an end to all forms of Palestinian violence -- from stones to mortars to suicide bombs -- before following through on further steps in the report of a commission led by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.

The Palestinians want security and political steps to proceed together. In particular, they want one confidence-building measure implemented in the first stage: a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.




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