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The elephant was put down because it had shown such aggressive behaviour before and posed a threat to other tourists.
“The elephant had to be put down. Since it was in its musth phase, the elephant had gotten into a fight with another dominant bull before and was very aggressive,” Phaahla said.
During this phase an elephant's elevated testosterone levels cause them to become aggressive, even when unthreatened.
“Musth happens in the breeding season when young bachelor bulls try to enter a breeding herd to mate with a female,” said nature conservationist Bryan Jones, of the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre.
“They are often driven away by the dominant male of that herd and may divert their frustration onto something else, sometimes humans.”
A North Texas man who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt an endangered African black rhino said he's had to hire full-time security due to death threats after his name was leaked onto the Internet.
"They're wanting to kill me," he said. "They're wanting to kill my children. They're wanting to skin us alive."
The club says the Namibian rhino in question is older, male and nonbreeding -- and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive.