PETA Statement: Accident—or Did Elephant Lash Out?

For Immediate Release:
July 28, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews in response to the death this week of a 7-year-old girl after she was hit in the head with a rock thrown by an elephant at a Moroccan zoo:

Elephants are exceptionally intelligent and sensitive beings who endure extreme stress in zoos, just like anyone else faced with a lifetime of frustration, confinement, and loneliness. The elephant may have been playing, but it’s not surprising that wild animals could become aggressive and lash out after being denied the opportunity to choose a mate, raise young, or roam vast territories as they would in nature. PETA sends our condolences to the young girl’s family and hopes that this incident will save lives in the future by making zoos everywhere reconsider locking wild animals in cages for human amusement.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.”

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind