Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Elephant kills mahout’s son in Dhaka zoo

  • The animal got panicked seeing an outsider 
  • Father tried to conceal death from authorities 
Update : 11 Apr 2024, 08:10 PM

The son of a mahout (elephant keeper) has been killed in an attack at the Bangladesh National Zoo in the capital’s Mirpur after the boy entered the cage illegally, leaving the mammal panicked.

However, the identity of the victim could not be confirmed immediately.

Rafiqul Islam Talukder, director of the zoo, confirmed that the incident took place around 11am on Thursday.  

“Accompanying his son, mahout Azad Ali entered the cage of the elephant to take care of the animal. But seeing a new face in its cage, the elephant went on a rampage,” he said.

“The elephant tangled the boy using its trunk and flung him on the ground,” said the zoo director.

Usually, an elephant stays under the control of a mahout and follows his instructions. Outsiders are banned inside the animal cages at the zoo, he added.

“As far as I heard, Azad brought his son to the zoo before Eid-ul-Fitr. It seems that he was unaware of the dire consequences of an outsider entering the cage,” he said.

“He (Azad) might have thought everything would be fine (even if his son is inside the cage with him),” Rafiqul added.

Bid to conceal the obituary

Despite the attack that caused the death, Azad did not immediately report the matter to the zoo authorities.

“He tried to take his son to a hospital in a CNG-run three-wheeler. But his son died on the way,” Rafiqul said. After that, the mahout set off for his village home, carrying the body. 

When the zoo authorities learned about the matter around 12 noon, they phoned Azad. He admitted that he had taken his son inside the cage without any permission, which was why he tried to conceal the matter. 

“He possibly feared losing his job due to the incident. But he should have informed us of everything that happened there,” Rafiqul said.

He added that they have a code of conduct for the zookeepers. “But after the incident, we will organize counselling for all (zookeepers).”

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