A seven-year-old girl was killed after she was hit by a stone thrown by an elephant at a zoo in Morocco.
The incident occurred at the Rabat Zoo in Morocco. The stone thrown by the elephant went past the animal’s enclosure and a ditch that separates the visitors and animals.
The father had lifted the girl outside the fence to allow the mother to take a picture of the two with their backs turned to the animal. The female elephant named Assia picked up the stone in its trunk and threw it in the direction of the girl. It struck the girl and knocked her unconscious, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The victim was transported to a hospital but could not overcome her injuries. She died within a few hours of the incident.
A spokesman of the zoo expressed sorrow and offered his condolences to the family of the girl but said accidents such as these are “rare, unforeseeable and unusual.”
“Accidents of this nature happened in international zoos, most recently in Disney World Orlando and the Cincinnati Zoo in the United States,” the spokesman said.
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As reported by BBC, Phyllis Lee, Scientific Director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, said it is unusual for elephants to throw stones and branches, and can happen “when elephants are frustrated or bored.”
“In my opinion, it’s unlikely the elephant was directly targeting the girl – but exhibiting frustration. You can’t predict what animals in captivity will do,” Lee said.
Some people said the arrival of the ambulance was too late. One social media user wrote, “How is it possible that the place receives a large number of visitors but there is no ambulance station.”