Young elephant dies in Somerset zoo attack
Gentle giant apparently not so gentle
M'Changa, a twelve-year-old African Elephant, has succumbed to life-threatening injuries following an attack by a larger and more aggressive bull. Though an investigation is underway, officials at Somerset Zoo know the larger animal entered M'Changa's while they were sleeping.
Shaka and Janu, two other elephants which formed the same "male bachelor group," were not harmed during the attack. A statement from the Zoo reads as follows:
"Bull elephants are large and powerful animals. Their behaviour in the wild and zoos can often typically be active, boisterous and can at times be aggressive.
"M'Changa, Shaka and Janu enjoyed special bonds as part of the group, often displaying brotherly relationships.
— Debbie (@Debbie95684198) June 22, 2021
"Our dedicated team of Elephant keepers are understandably distraught over this recent event, and we are doing all that we can to support them during this difficult time."
A spokesman at the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) also commented:
"The bachelor elephant group at Noah's Ark plays a key supporting role serving wider African Elephant conservation efforts, as an important part of the European Endangered Species Programme," he said.
Elephants are still endangered in the wild, often falling victim to the illegal ivory trade, poaching, and the effects of deforestation.