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KRISTIANSAND

Antelope kills giraffe at Norway zoo

A giraffe at Norway’s Kristiansand zoo was gored to death on Monday by an eland antelope as horrified adults and children looked on.

Antelope kills giraffe at Norway zoo
Melvin the giraffe in happier times. Photo: Kristiansand Zoo
”It was very traumatic. People were crying everywhere,” Øivind Hansen, who witnessed the killing, told VG. His daughter Sissel Finstad, 23, had come home crying from the zoo. 
 
”It was a horrible experience for everyone who saw it. It has really affected people,” he said. 
 
Per Arnstein Aamodt, the zoo's chief executive, confirmed that the giraffe, which had been stuck in a fence, had been killed by the antelope. 
 
”I still don’t have a clear picture of what happened, but the giraffe is dead. Our vet Rolf Arne Ølberg has confirmed this. He will perform an autopsy on the giraffe now. He arrived before the giraffe died, but he was unable to save it.”
 
Ølberg apologized to visitors affected in a press release put out on Monday night. 
 
“The animal kingdom is occasionally brutal, " he said. "But we don’t think it’s nice that so many of our visitors, large and small, got an involuntary insight into this today." 
 
Glenn Ivan Andreasen, another witness, told VG that there had been no zookeepers on the scene when the giraffe had been killed.
 
”Everyone was in shock, but what surprised me most was that there was no staff present. Several of those who were witnesses tried to call the hotline to alert those working in the park, but no one answered. I found it very strange that it took ten to fifteen minutes before someone intervened," he said. 
 
Aamodt, the zoo director, said that the two zookeepers on duty had come to the scene as fast as they had been able. 
 
”There aren’t people with these animals all the time, but there are always zookeepers at work,” he said.  “I understand that there were two zookeepers at work today and both came to the scene after a short time.”
  
The giraffe won a special place in the hearts of many Norwegians when it was born in 2010, after the zoo polled the readers of VG newspaper to find a name for it. 
 
The newspaper received 1600 suggestions, finally settling on ‘Melvin’ via a popular vote.
 
Melvin is not the first Scandinavian giraffe to make headlines. In 2014 Copenhagen Zoo euthanized a health young male giraffe named Marius.
 
The carcass was subsequently feed to the lions, causing international outrage.
 

KRISTIANSAND

Norway wolverine causes havoc at US airport

A wolverine in transit from a Norway zoo to Alaska gnawed through his cage at customs in Newark Airport and began growling at passers-by, winning it the moniker "psycho killer" in the US press.

Norway wolverine causes havoc at US airport
A wolverine at Kristiansand zoo. Photo: Birgit Fostervold
“His head was sticking out,” Sarah Howard, the animal's handler, told the New York Times. 
 
The wolverine, named Kasper by staff at Kristiansand zoo, was in transit to a wildlife centre in Alaska when Howard spotted that he had managed to chew through his metal cage. 
 
“It’s believed he chewed a hole in it,” Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, confirmed. 
 
European Wolverines are known for their enormously strong jaws which can crush through the frozen meat  they find stored for the winter by other animals, and even through bones. 
 
After his escape was noticed, the 18kg animal refused to be moved to a new cage and had to be tranquilised with ketamine before continuing his trip to Alaska. 
 
Rolf Arne Ølberg, a vet at Kristiansand Zoo, said that the US press had exaggerated the danger. The tabloid New York Post headlined their story "Psycho-killer wolverine almost escapes". 
 
“He is a kind wolverine," Ølberg told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. ”I have spoken to the animal handlers at the airport in New York. Everything was under control. The wolverine was in good condition when it left us, and it still is.” 
 
”We have also sent wolverines to Canada and France. They managed the trips without drama," Ølberg continued. "We are considering whether to use cages made completely of metal in the future.” 
 
A good life awaits Kasper at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center that is set on nearly 70 hectares of land in the mountains were he will have plenty of room to roam. He will soon be joined by a female wolverine from Sweden.