Elephant kills handler, runs off with tourists
BANGKOK: An elephant trampled its handler to death and ran off with two Russian tourists – a mother and her 9-year-old daughter – who were riding it during a trek in southern Thailand, police said yesterday.
Rescue teams tracked the elephant down about 3km away and tranquilised it to rescue the tourists clinging to its back, police Lieutenant-colonel Narong Laksanawimol said yesterday.
“It took almost three hours for the elephant to calm down completely.
“We had to tie it to a tree,” Narong said by telephone.
He said the animal began attacking the 60year-old handler about 15 minutes after the start of what was supposed to be a scenic ride for the tourists near a waterfall in the city of Phang Nga.
The handler’s crushed body was later found in a creek.
He said the male elephant had never attacked anyone since it began working for a tourist company two years ago, adding that the animal was in musth, a state of aggressive sexual excitement.