A zoo worker in Spain was killed by an elephant while she was cleaning the cage of the animal.
It was said that one of the mighty beasts hit him with her trunk, which slammed his head against the bars of the cage.
Joaquin Gutierrez Arnaiz, suffered severe head injuries.
The incident reportedly happened in Cabarceno Natural Park in Spain.
Arnaiz was rushed to the hospital, where he died 3 hours after.
The female elephant was in the enclosure with her calf when the incident happened.
On around 8:30 am of February 23, 2021, the elephant attacked the man while believing the young elephant was being threatened.
Javier Lopez Marcano, the tourism minister in the regional government of Cantabria, said:
We’re talking about unpredictable animals. The force of the strike was tremendous of a size that one could not survive. Joaquin was a great lover of elephants and his work.
An official statement by the zoo said:
A worker at the Cabarceno Natural Park has died after being hit by one of the elephants. The accident occurred at 8.30am on Tuesday outside the stables of the pachyderms, as daily cleaning and release of the animals began. Joaquin Gutierrez Arnaiz, 44, was in an intermediate security corridor that the elephants use to enter and exit their stables in an orderly fashion when he was hit by the elephant’s trunk. The elephant is a female who was with her calf in one of the large yards. Joaquin hit his head against the enclosure railings as he fell. Two colleagues who were with him dialled 112 and Joaquin was transferred to hospital by ambulance. He died at 11.15am. Police and Civil Guard have been to the park and initiated an investigation to clarify the cause of the accident. Joaquin’s death has caused great distress among his colleagues and Cantur, the publicly-owned company which manages the park. This is the first fatal accident that has occurred at Cabarceno Natural Park in 30 years.
The Cabarceno Natural Park is home to around 120 animals.
Wolves, tigers, lions, and jaguars.
They are kept in natural enclosures with mixed species living together.