Israel – A 17-year-old girl who snuck into the Ramat Gan safari early Friday was moderately to seriously injured after she was attacked by an elephant.
The victim is the granddaughter of a cabinet minister, though a gag order has been placed on the identity of the minister.
The teenager and her boyfriend, 20, both from Petah Tikva, snuck into the safari at around 5:30 A.M. They apparently explored the safari and when they reached the elephant exhibit, one of the giant animals wrapped its trunk around the girl’s body and dragged her into the pen.
The girl struggled to escape while her boyfriend tried to help. She finally managed to escape the elephant’ grasp and exit the pen.
Magen David Adom rescue service arrived on the scene and rushed the girl to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, where her condition was listed as moderate to serious.
Medics said they did not initially believe the boyfriend’s story when he called in the early morning to tell them an elephant had stepped on his girlfriend, but sent an ambulance to the scene anyway.
The MDA hotline continued to call the youth in order to verify his story. When medics arrived on the scene, they found the girl lying on the ground near the elephant cage suffering from pelvic, stomach and chest wounds.
Despite the youths’ account that the elephant pulled them into the restricted area, safari employees believe perhaps they entered on their own.
Safari employees said the girl entered the nighttime cage of the Asian elephant called Motek (sweetie). Motek is considered the male leader of the Asian elephant herd. The male elephant is caged in alone at night while the females of the herd wander in the nearby field.
At this stage, safari employees are still unsure of how the two youths entered the safari. Certain points of of entry are off limits even during hours where the safari is open to visitors.
According to safari employees, the elephant caretakers also avoid entering the closed area where Motek is kept.