Baby elephant stomps its way into Ramat Gan Safari

New-born Asian calf stands with its mother and grandmother, marking three-generations of elephants at the safari.

August 4, 2013 01:02
1 minute read.
A new-born Asian elephant

Elephant. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A new-born Asian elephant stands with its mother and grandmother at the Ramat Gan Safari on Friday. The zoo said the unnamed calf, who was thought to be female, was less than a day old and weighed about 100 kilos.

The good news will be welcomed by the Ramat Gan Safari, which made headlines last April after an elephant grabbed and seriously injured a teenage girl.

The seventeen year old reportedly approached the elephant cage, where one of the elephants grabbed her with its trunk and stepped on her.

In 2007, Yossi, an African elephant and one of the main attractions of the Ramat Gan Safari, attacked and killed Atari, another elephant living in the same pen.

The 33-year-old Yossi, who at seven tons is one of the largest zoo elephants in the world, charged Atari, 46, and slammed her into a wall - killing her. The two have lived together since 1974, when Yossi was born. Atari was considered one of the more dominant elephants in the herd, and Yossi grew up with her as the dominant elephant.

"It is like a domestic murder," said Itzik Franko, head elephant caretaker. While there was no clear motive for Yossi's attack, speculation was that Yossi, the dominant male, became threatened by Atari - the dominant female. Safari veterinarians say that the act might have been caused by the fact that it is currently mating season for elephants, which caused Yossi to act in a more aggressive manner. Yossi's size and power were too formidable for the keepers to stop the attack. "She didn't stand a chance against him," said one elephant keeper.

"Yossi is a giant, very powerful elephant. Atari weighed two tons less than him," a member of the safari staff said.

At the time of the incident, five other elephants - three female and two male - were in the den, but safari keepers managed to gather the elephants in their sleeping area to reduce chances of additional violence.

Yaniv Salama-Scheer contributed to this report.

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