A 12-year-old boy ignored warnings about petting the animals at a Hungarian zoo when he stuck his arm through the fence and was bitten on the finger by a meerkat. Officials believed the pregnant meerkat had been trying to protect her young ones. The angry child grabbed the 18-month-old animal and slammed her and her unborn baby to the ground – killing both in an instant.
According to the Independent, the meerkat named Zara lived at the Kecskemeti Zoo and had been a favorite when she arrived a year-and-a-half ago. The curious little animal had stolen everyone’s heart including the the zoo’s director, Tamas Tokovics who described his sadness and concern about the child’s lack of respect on Facebook.
“There was a sad event today at the kecskemét Warren. I don’t know what’s going on with the tragedy, the lack of rules, and I can do anything for behavior, for being a -, I don’t know…The little one grew up, and we trusted that a new colony would be formed, because Zara’s belly was growing again this year.
Since we knew his behavior would change at this time, we put out separate warning signs so they wouldn’t touch the animal because he bites. Unfortunately, not everyone will take our orders, even if it’s for his own good. And unfortunately, it happened. In spite of multiple warnings, a boy reached in, and zara protected his current and future family in the hands of the child who, from pain or terror, slammed our little meerkat. Zara and her offspring were at the scene. They died immediately, and I couldn’t resuscitate her.
Whose fault it is??” [translation]
After the death of Zara and her unborn baby, emotions ran high on social media with some calling for the child to be severely punished. The child even received death threats, yet despite the outpouring of anger and sadness over Zara’s untimely death, Tokovics called for everyone to remain calm.
“Everyone, let’s not start looking for a scapegoat, because we can’t make the tragedy happen anymore, but let’s start with small steps to build a world where things like this can’t happen where we’re watching nature. To each other and the harmony between us. We at the Warren Warren are doing everything we can to make sure that people who visit us, regardless of their age, get rich with unforgettable experiences, if only for a little while. Please, we ask you to take care of this miracle so that many of you may experience the many uplifting experiences that you may meet in the kecskemét Warren.
Let’s remember Zara for our little meerkat.” [translation]
Tokovics hopes parents are encouraged to teach their children to respect each other and nature.
Rest in peace little Zara and your unborn baby.
(Photos via Facebook Kecskeméti Vadaskert)
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