An employee of a Swedish animal park was gored to death by a large antelope, the attraction’s owner said Monday, per AP.
The incident occurred last Sunday night at the Oland Animal and Entertainment Park on the southeastern island of Oland, AP reported.
Richard Berglund, the attraction’s owner, told reporters that he witnessed the attack. It happened when he was helping the victim to lead animals into stables after the park had closed for visitors, he said, per AP’s reporting.
“The personnel concerned have had great competence and many years experience with the species,” a statement on the Oland Animal and Entertainment Park website said.
The incident is being considered a “workplace accident,” police said.
The animal park is now closed for the season, according to its website.
The victim’s name or nationality has not been publicly disclosed. Insider contacted the animal park for comment but did not receive a response.
“It was a friend,” Berglund told reporters, per AP. “We’re all grieving,” he added.
It is not immediately clear whether the antelope was a giant eland, which is the largest antelope species in the world, or the slightly smaller common eland.
Originating from Africa, the eland has large spiraled horns. Giant elands can stand six feet at the shoulder and weigh more than 2,600 pounds, with horns that can grow up to 49 inches long. The common eland’s horns can still reach 27 inches, and they weigh up to 2,200 pounds.
Generally, both species of antelope are docile and non-territorial creatures, but they may occasionally use their horns during rutting season or to protect their young from predators.
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