Prof Shoshani in Africa
Photo courtesy of Haaretz
Photo: AFP
Minibus after blast
Photo: AFP
Israeli scientist among victims of minibus blast in Ethiopia
World-renowned elephant researcher Prof Jeheskel Shoshani among those killed in apparent terror attack perpetrated by extremists backed by neighboring Eritrea

Israeli Professor Jeheskel Shoshani, a world-renowned researcher of elephants at Addis Ababa University, was among the victims of Tuesday's minibus explosion in the Ethiopian capital's downtown area.


The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it remains unclear whether the explosion was terror-related and if Shoshani was aboard the minibus when it exploded.


The transfer of Shoshani's body is being handled by the US consul general in Addis Ababa, as the professor also holds American citizenship.


Three people were killed and nine others were injured in the explosion, which occurred as the minibus was traveling on the road which runs between the Hilton Hotel and the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry.


The explosion appears to be the latest in a series of terror attacks the Ethiopian capital has seen, which the government has blamed on extremists who are supported by neighboring enemy country Eritrea.


In a recent interview with Haaretz, Shoshani recounted finding the corpse of a large elephant that had been shot by hunters.


"It was a large male, and the poachers wanted its ivory, so they sawed off its head," he told Haaretz. "When I saw that, I thought about the last moments in the life of this elephant. Elephants have language - they talk to one another with sounds that we can't hear. I asked myself what sound he made a moment before he died.


"I have studied the elephant brain, and there are many similarities between it and the human brain. It's possible that they remember more than we do. But because of one bullet, all these memories disappeared. It made me so sad. And the fact of the matter is, the poacher himself doesn't even get much money for it," the Israeli daily quoted Shoshani as saying. 


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