A 7 year old girl has been killed in an accident at a Moroccan zoo when an elephant threw a rock at her head.
The girl had been posing with her family for a photograph beside the animal’s enclosure in the country’s capital of Rabat on Tuesday 26 July.
Witnesses revealed that the elephant threw a large stone into the air after picking it up with its truck. The stone then struckthe girl on the back of her head.
According to Daily Mail, the little girl fell unconscious and died in a nearby hospital from her injuries on Thursday 28 July.
Mobile phone footage taken by a bystander showed the victim’s stunned family gathered around her as zoo personnel tended to her on the ground
Witnesses claimed that an ambulance took much time in arriving, hitting out at the zoo for not having its own medical station.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the accidental death of a little girl victim of a stone throw launched by an elephant,” said the zoo on its Twitter page.
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A spokesman for the zoo was quoted as saying that there had been no security breaches, and the girl had not crossed into a protective area outside the enclosure.
“Accidents of this type are rare, unforeseeable and unusual,” the spokesman added.
According to local reports, the girl’s father had lifted her up on his shoulders to pose for the photograph.
The Rabat-Temara zoo, which opened in 2012, boasts of housing 130 species of animals in simulated mountain, desert and rainforest habitats.