Zoo elephant throws stone toward visitors in Morocco, killing 7-year-old girl

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Generic photo of an elephant

RABAT, Morocco – Experts at a zoo in the Moroccan capital of Rabat are trying to understand why an elephant tossed a stone in the direction of visitors, killing a 7-year-old girl.

A zoo veterinarian said on Friday that the behavior of the female elephant was “abnormal” and needs to be understood.

The girl was visiting the Zoological Garden of Rabat with her family on Tuesday, admiring the three elephants when one of them searched for a stone, picked it up and tossed it more than 10 meters over a huge ditch and a wooden barrier toward the visitors. The girl was struck in the head and later died.

Veterinarian Abderahim Salhi said by telephone that zoo personnel were remained in shock, and the elephant exhibit has been temporarily closed to the public.