US & Canada

US's oldest park ranger, 94, back at work after attack

Ms Soskin flanked by smiling co-workers, July 12 2016 Image copyright AP
Image caption Ms Soskin was received heartily by colleagues at the historical park where she works in California

The oldest park ranger in the US, 94-year-old Betty Reid Soskin, has gone back to work two weeks after being beaten up in a burglary.

Ms Soskin, who has led tours at a historical park in the San Francisco Bay area for 10 years, said she wanted to "get back in to routine life".

On 27 June a burglar punched her in the head and stole a mobile phone, a laptop and some jewellery from her house.

Co-workers and volunteers greeted her with cheers and hugs upon her return.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBetty Reid Soskin: "Coming back to work has been just great"

She told her colleagues at the Rosie the Riveter World War Two Home Front National Historical Park: "It's so good to see you all and feel the support of the community."

Ms Soskin told local media that she waited for her bruises to heal before she came back so nobody would put a video of them on YouTube.

Among other items, the burglar stole a coin that President Barack Obama had given to Ms Soskin when she introduced him at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the White House.

The Secretary of the Interior has reportedly confirmed that the coin will be replaced.

Ms Soskin also attended President Obama's inauguration, carrying a photograph of her great-grandmother - who was born a slave - to the ceremony.

Ms Soskin runs a blog about her life and her family history.

She draws on her own life experiences as a wartime shipyard clerk when leading tours at the park.