>PADERBORN, GERMANY - Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt fed his
>constipated elephant Stefan 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a
>bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm
>finally let fly -- and suffocated the keeper under 200 pounds of poop!
>Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the
>ailing elephant an olive-oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded on
>him like a dump truck full of mud.
>"The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr.
>Riesfeldt to the ground, where he struck his head on a rock and lay
>unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels on top of
>him," said flabbergasted Paderborn police detective Erik Dern. "With no
>one there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at least an hour
>before a watchman came along, and during that time he suffocated. "It
>seems to be just one of those freak accidents that happen sometimes -a
>billion-to-one shot, atleast."
>The heartbreaking tale of constipation and tragedy began April 23 when
>the conscientious zookeeper noticed that his prize, 8,000-pound African
>elephant didn't seem to be producing his usual poop aplenty.
>"Friedrich had actually been concerned for several days because he knew
>that severe constipation can kill an elephant," assistant zookeeper Kurt
>Herrman recalled. "He told me he was going to stay late that Thursday
>night to treat Stefan with laxatives and possibly give him an enema.
>"I offered to help, but he sent me on home, saying he had everything
>under control." But two hours later, horrified night watchman Walter
>Pleuger found Friedrich lying lifeless under a mound of muck, his body
>visible only from the knees down.
>"I had never really thought about it before," Det. Dern said. "But
>obviously, giving an elephant an enema can be a very dangerous activity
>-- and not something that should be attempted alone."