Monday, June 29, 2009

Blackpool Zoo elephant’s TV autopsy

....Crumple the Elephant....

By Joe Robinson - The Gazette

THE autopsy of a much loved elephant from Blackpool Zoo is to be performed on national television.

Crumple, who spent 37 of her 40 years entertaining thousands of visitors at the zoo, will be part of the Channel 4 programme – Inside Nature’s Giants – it was confirmed today.

It is the first time an animal autopsy has been carried out on TV.

The decision to go ahead comes despite opposition to the autopsy
being televised by Blackpool councillor and former zoo staff member Tony Wiliams, who said broadcasting the event would be distressing to Crumple lovers.

Blackpool Zoo today said they were aware of the programme when Crumple’s body was donated to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), which is taking part in the show.

But they distanced themselves from the decision to broadcast the autopsy, saying that choice was made by the RVC.

A spokesman for Blackpool Zoo said: “Blackpool Zoo has always been open and clear about the protocols that are in place for post mortems in the event of the death of an animal

“Given the complexity of a post mortem of a large animal, the zoo donated the body of an elephant to the Royal Veterinary College in London for research and educational purposes.

“The RVC is the leading veterinary college in the United Kingdom specialising in research and the training of veterinary practitioners and exotic veterinary surgeons.

“Blackpool Zoo was aware of the collaboration between the RVC and Windfall Films and the final decision with respect to which animals were to be included in the documentary series was made by the production company in consultation with the RVC.”

Crumple will be examined alongside a giraffe, a crocodile and whale.