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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 July, 2003, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Gran hurt by rock-throwing jumbo
South African elephant
The elephant is not thought to have deliberately targeted the family
A family returned to a safari park after their last visit ended with an elephant hurling a rock through a window of their car.

Grandmother Ann Jones was left with a bruise on her leg after Tooth, a 10-year-old bull elephant at West Midlands Safari Park, used his trunk to launch the stone.

It ended up inside the car in which she, her husband, daughter, son-in-law and grandsons, were travelling at the park in Bewdley, Worcestershire.

No one else was hurt in Sunday's incident, which the park's head warden said was unlike anything he had known in 25 years of working with elephants.

Mother shot

The family was treated to a guided tour of the park on Tuesday to make up for their ordeal.

They were also refunded the cost of replacing the window.

I don't think those people were targeted - they just happened to be passing by
Head warden Bob Lawrence

Head warden Bob Lawrence said a family in front of Mrs Jones' party was thought to have been throwing food to Tooth, who came across the rock while scavenging for tit-bits.

"He took a dislike to what he picked up because it was inedible and threw it away.

"I don't think those people were targeted - they just happened to be passing by.

"We have been keeping elephants here for 25 years and nothing like this has ever happened."

The drama was captured on video by Mrs Jones's daughter, Shireen Birch, 32, who was with the 60-year-old and her husband Richard, 62.

Also present were Mrs Birch's husband Anthony, 36, and their four-year-old twin sons, Lewis and Callum.

Mrs Jones, of Marston Green, Birmingham, told ITV News: "This brick just came from nowhere.

"I was so shocked. I am just lucky that no one else was hurt."

Tooth arrived at the safari park five years ago from his native South Africa, where he was hand-reared after his mother was shot by poachers.




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