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Group: Zoo was fined for elephant death

July 21, 2009 5:59:50 AM PDT
An animal rights group says the federal government has fined the L.A. Zoo more than $3,200 for the 2006 death of Gita the elephant.A necropsy determined Gita suffered cardiac failure.

A zoo investigation found that Gita's keepers did not begin emergency procedures for more than eight hours after she was first seen sitting with her back legs tucked under her, which is a sign of distress in elephants.

The group In Defense of Animals says it learned of the fine last week after receiving a letter from the USDA. stating the penalty was issued last year.

The group calls the fine a "slap on the wrist" for the zoo.

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