It remains a mystery why an elephant in Morocco would get so angry to the point of flinging a stone at tourists, and killing a 7-year-old girl in one moment of madness. Experts at the zoo in Rabat are trying to get answers to this strange event, reports confirm.
‘The behavior of the female elephant was “abnormal” and needs to be examined,’ a vet at the zoo in Rabat is quoted as saying.
Image shows a group of tourists at the zoo in Rabat, Morocco.
According to Belfast Telegraph, the girl was at the Zoological Garden of Rabat with her family on Tuesday, admiring three elephants, when one picked up a stone and tossed it more than 10 meters over a large ditch and a wooden barrier toward the visitors.
It is believed that the girl had been lifted onto her father’s shoulders to better see the animals when one of the elephants picked up a stone with its trunk and threw it, The Star reported.
‘The stone, which was nearly the size of half a brick, struck the girl in the back of the head and knocked her unconscious.’ She died a few hours later.
Reports confirm ‘the elephant exhibit has been temporarily closed,’ vet Abderahim Salhi said, adding that ‘the zoo’s employees remained in shock three days after the “unforeseeable accident”‘.
“The behavior … of any animal is very complex, and wild animals are unpredictable. We are all surprised. We don’t yet understand.”
The zoo, which opened in 2012 on the edge of Rabat, was designed to show animals living in replicas of their natural habitat – but with no direct contact with visitors, Mr Salhi said.
Stones are plentiful inside the elephant habitat, as they would be in natural surroundings.
Salma Slimani, in charge of zoo administration, said: “We are very sad at what happened, but it would be wrong to blame the elephant. This was not premeditated.”