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A zebra has been gored to death by a buffalo at a safari park in a brutal fight over hay.
The female animal was impaled by the Congo buffalo at West Midland Safari Park, near Bewdley in Worcestershire, in front of visitors on September 5.
The zebra was pronounced dead after the "freak accident", despite intervention from staff.
A source at the park told The Sun: “Keepers were feeding the animals at the same time.
"A fight broke out and the cattle got its horn under the zebra. Nobody could believe what they were watching.”
A park spokesperson confirmed: “We can confirm that on Saturday 5 th September an unexpected and very rare incident involving our Congo buffalo and plains zebra took place inside the park’s reserve.
“These two species live together in a mixed exhibit and at no point were any safety gates left open. The freak accident occurred when the buffalo’s horn caught the zebra’s tummy.
"Sadly, and despite the very quick reactions of our wildlife team, the zebra involved has unfortunately passed away as a result of the injury she sustained.
“We are extremely saddened by the incident and are providing staff with any support they need.
“At no point was there any risk to the safety and wellbeing of our guests.”
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Back in July, a safari park had to deny reports its baboons had been spotted with knives, screwdrivers and a chainsaw.
Primates at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside are known to pounce on cars as visitors cruise through the open enclosure.
Workers at the park told the Sunday Times they feared weapons were being given to the animals "for a laugh" by pranksters.
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But the safari park said in a statement: "We believe many of these stories have grown in exaggeration as they’ve been retold, with embellishment to make the objects that are sometimes found in the enclosure seem more exciting and unbelievable."
A park worker told the Sunday Times: "We’re not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests who want to see them attack cars, or if they’re fishing them out of pick-up trucks and vans.
"They will literally go into people’s toolboxes and carry them around. One of the baboons was seen lugging around a chainsaw.
"The baboons have been found with knives and screwdrivers. I do wonder if it’s some of the guests handing them out."
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