This story will give you second thoughts on your next zoo visit. It was business as usual as at the Jardin Zoologique National de Rabat in Morocco last Tuesday, until visitors witnessed the bizarre ending of a seven year old girl at the hands of a resident elephant.
In a twisted David/Goliath encounter, a seemingly bored or frustrated giant picked up a rock half the size of a brick and with its trunk, hurled it at bystanders, hitting the youngster on the head.
It is believed the girl was propped onto her father’s shoulders when the rock hit the back of her head. The girl succumbed to heavy bleed and died in hospital.
Authorities at the zoo issued an apology and condoled the girl’s family but denied any responsibility, claiming the enclosure of the three resident elephants at the zoo is high enough and the girl’s death was simply “rare, unpredictable and strange”.
The accident becomes the third publicised zoo incident after a 17 year old male gorilla was shot dead at a Cincinnati zoo for dragging a boy who had wandered into its enclosure. In June a two year old boy was killed by an alligator in Florida.