Boy Receives Death Threats After Accidentally Killing Meerkat At Hungarian Zoo
A Hungarian schoolboy has received death threats after inadvertently killing a pregnant meerkat that had bitten him at a zoo.
The boy, who is 12 years old, was at Kecskemeti Zoo in southern Hungary when he ignorered warnings not to touch the animals, instead reaching out through a fence to pet the meerkat, reports the Sun.
The meerkat, known to zookeepers and tourists as Zara, bit the boy on the finger in an attempt to protect her young and her unborn baby.
As he was bitten, the boy pulled his hand away, causing the meerkat to be pulled with him and crash against the wall of her cage. The meerkat was killed on impact with the cage.
Zara was something of a local celebrity in Hungary, having been involved in social media posts from Kecskemeti Zoo over the span of his year and a half long life at the zoo. Tamas Tokovics, the direct at Kecskemeti, posted a tribute to the animal on Facebook.
"Whose fault is it," he wrote, "that today's youth is becoming less and less respectful of nature, life, or that the escort teachers are becoming less and less aware of the students entrusted to them, or to the parents?"
"I'm sure many of you remember that [Zara] became a media star a year-and-a-half ago when she came to us.
"With her bustle, curiosity, shirking, she stole herself into everyone's heart."
"For six months, she spent the day in my office every day and the nights at home in our house. She became an excellent playmate for our spaniel."
The outpouring of emotion for Zara on Facebook has caused a backlash against the boy, however. One social media user posted that the boy 'should be smashed to the ground so hard he doesn't get up again', while another added: "You should have cut that stinky kid in the neck if he didn't get a head start."
This is far from the first incident involving the deaths of animals because of human misadventure at zoos in recent years.
The most high profile case was that of Harambe, a mountain gorilla who was shot dead by his handlers after grabbing and dragging a young boy who climbed into his enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo in the United States, resulting in worldwide tributes.
A week before the death of Harambe, two lions were shot in Santiago, Chile, after a man attempted to take his own life by jumping into the lion enclosure.
Featured Image Credit: PA