Elephant tramples tourist to death in Thailand

Father and daughter from the UK thrown off animal's back while holidaying on the island of Koh Samui.

    Thailand's use of elephants for tourism is under increased scrutiny by animal rights groups [Reuters]
    Thailand's use of elephants for tourism is under increased scrutiny by animal rights groups [Reuters]

    An elephant on the Thai tourist island of Koh Samui trampled a tourist to death in the latest deadly attack by animals used to entertain holiday-makers.

    The man from the UK was riding on the animal's back with his daughter on Monday when it suddenly threw them off, police told the AFP news agency.

    "We suspect that the hot weather made the elephant angry and that he was not accustomed to his mahout [handler]," said Paiboon Omark, a district police chief.

    Paiboon said the tourist had a prosthetic leg and was unable to run away from the elephant, which gored and trampled him.


    WATCH: Saving Thailand's Animals


    His daughter and the handler, a Myanmar national, were both slightly injured but escaped.

    The elephant, named "Golf", was tranquilised and brought under control, he said.

    Zimbabwe's elephants killed with cyanide

    The male animal was "in musth and was reacting aggressively", Edwin Wiek, founder of the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand, told the DPA news agency. 

    Wiek denied local reports that the tourist had been taunting the
    animal.

    It was the sixth fatal incident in the last five months involving
    bull elephants in musth across Thailand, he said.

    "Male elephants should not be a part of these treks at all as they
    are uncontrollable when they are in heat," Wiek said.

    Thailand has an estimated 4,000 domesticated elephants, many working in the tourism trade, beside some 2,500 wild elephants.

    In August, an elephant killed his handler with three terrified Chinese tourists still on his back. The tourists survived.

    Thailand's use of animals for tourism is under increased scrutiny following a string of scandals and investigations by rights groups.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.