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Terrible story in Hungary: Meerkat killed by schoolkid at zoo, outrage ensues!

Terrible story in Hungary: Meerkat killed by schoolkid at zoo, outrage ensues!

According to, the entire country is shaken up by what had happened at the Kecskemét Wildlife Park this past Monday. A 5th-grader has thrown a pregnant meerkat to the floor at the Kecskemét zoo, causing the death of the animals. Since then, outrage has broken out as nobody wants to shoulder the blame.

Details of the incident

Zara, the pregnant meerkat, has died at the beginning of this week. Sources claim that the young boy was poking her with a stick, despite having been warned not to. A pregnant meerkat acts differently, and signs were warning against touching her. He ended up upsetting the animal, who instinctively bit his hand to break free. The boy, probably alarmed by the bite, dropped the animal which led to the death of the mother as well as the baby meerkats.

Blood was streaming from her mouth and nose. Several attempts were made to bring her back to life. The director of the wildlife park, Tamás Tokovics, tried heart massage as well as CPR, but to no avail. The autopsy showed that the cause of death was a burst aorta.

“It was excruciatingly painful to see her lifeless little body” – said Tamás Tokovics.

Zara has been at the zoo for a year and a half. She was one of the favourites of the visitors. The director raised her in his own office and at home until she got her own place, so his attachment is understandable.

meerkat, mate, animal

Zorro, the meerkat, left behind

The director also said that, while he received the apology of the accompanying teachers and the parents, his

“disappointment is indescribable knowing that the boy was poking her with a stick instead of wanting to caress her, just before the bite.”

All the meerkats received their shots against rabies, so the bite is absolutely harmless, just a tiny bit painful. The director also added that Zara’s mate, Zorro, was searching and calling for her for hours.


Everybody seems to be blaming someone else. As Tamás Tokovics said, we can ponder whether what had happened is a result of today’s youth not respecting nature or because the teachers can’t handle the kids, or even that the parents don’t spend enough time with them, talking about these issues. However, all this won’t bring Zara back. Instead of doing everything to find a culprit, he urges to create a world where such things can’t happen:

“where we look out for the environment and for each other, and the harmony that exists between us”.

Since the incident, the boy’s father has spoken out, too. He admits that his son has made a mistake, but raises the question whether the wildlife park is totally innocent or if they could have prevented the accident.

He claims that this happened at an open-air runway, where all the kids were dangling their hands and doing things that made the animals run around. His son just happened to reach a little farther than the rest of the kids, that’s how he got bitten.

meerkat, wildlif park, zoo, animal

Meerkats at the Kecskemét Wildlife Park

But because the bite was so deep that his fingernail got damaged, too, he got scared and dropped the animal. In fact, he accused the director of yelling at the crying boy and that he was so insensitive that they had to call a taxi to make sure the boy got to the hospital. The father blames the director for prioritising the animal instead of a little boy.

However, this clashes with what Tamás Tokovics has stated. According to him, they had to look for both the child and the accompanying teacher after the accident. The boy was very closed-off and barely said anything. His classmates had to speak up as they witnessed the whole thing. He also said that he made sure to call the school the next day and ask about the boy. They told him the boy’s hand was healing nicely and that he doesn’t appear to be in an emotional turmoil over what had happened.

He added: “We don’t want to crucify the boy but we all have to learn from this.

According to, many people have spoken out in support of the boy. After all, he is just a kid, and we cannot put all the blame on him. Tamás Vekerdy, the child psychologist, had this to say about the incident:

It is very sad that we are in this constant triggered state where we use animal protection – this time, but other times other excuses – to pour all our agression and hatred onto our fellow humans.

To read something positive involving zoos and animals, check out the relatively new members of the Debrecen Zoo!



  1. Vesna

    Little boy? 12 years old “little boy”?! C’mon, if he was three I’d understand but at age of 12 he should know much, much better!

  2. Sam

    Big Girl, i wonder what you would have done had the critter chomped on your finger. The Zoo let this happen period. No need to make a Federal case out of it. Survival of the smartest.

  3. Piszkosszem

    If he was 3, as a mother, you would have killed the thing..

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