Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Visitor killed by rock thrown by zoo elephant in Morocco

28 July 2016

Categories: Homepage News, Zoo Check Campaign News, Elephants Campaign News

Reports are circulating of a tragic incident at Rabat Zoo in Morocco, resulting in the death of a seven year-old girl.

The girl and her father were reportedly standing in front of the elephant enclosure when Assia, the Zoo’s female Asian elephant, is believed to have thrown a large rock, hitting the young girl on the back of the head. She was knocked unconscious and sadly later died from her injuries in hospital.

Chris Draper, Born Free Foundation’s manager for captive animals and science said: “This is a deeply upsetting and tragic accident and our thoughts are with the girl's family at what must be a very difficult time. Time and again, we are seeing disturbing evidence that zoos simply cannot guarantee the safety of their visitors or their animals. Elephants commonly manipulate objects in their environment, and in relatively impoverished captive situations they may develop behaviour that includes regularly throwing items in order to interact with, or provoke a reaction from, visitors or keepers. To prevent such behaviour from developing, elephants need to be given the opportunity to focus on natural foraging and social behaviour, away from the public gaze.” 

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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