Melo was considered critically injured at Taronga Park Zoo when young male elephant Pathi Harn, whose name means “miracle” in Thai pinned her against a pole in the zoo’s enclosure.

It was reported 40-year-old Melo’s heart stopped beating for five minutes following the crush, but a zoo spokesperson has confirmed she has now been released from Royal North Shore Hospital.

“Lucy Melo … has made excellent progress in her recovery,” the spokesman said.

“She was in good spirits and was commencing a period of rehabilitation.”

Lucy’s partner, Gary Miller, who is the head of the zoo’s elephant program and met Melo when they were working together in the US, thanked the public for their well wishes, saying they “have absolutely contributed to her speedy recovery”.

Pathi Harn was nicknamed Mr Shuffles when he was born after he was born with restricted movement on one side of his body and walked funny – he was considered a miracle because even international experts flown in to examine his mother thought he may have been dead in the womb until he actually arrived.

A zoo investigation is underway to ascertain what happen in the incident between Pathi Harn and Melo, who’s career is devoted to animal conservation and spends the majority of her working day in close proximity to the Asian giants.

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