An elephant has trampled to death a British tourist in front of his daughter on Koh Samui Island in Thailand.
The 36-year-old man from Scotland named Gareth Crowe was trekking on the island atop an elephant with his 16-year-old daughter assisted by a local guide when the accident took place, reported The Scotsman.
Witnesses recounted that the accident took place when the elephant handler climbed down to take pictures of the tourists. The elephant suddenly turned on the mahout with its trunk and stabbing him with its tusk. The elephant then threw both father and daughter and started rampaging. It trampled Mr.Crowe before stabbing him on the chest, killing him instantly.
Eilidh, Mr. Crowe’s daughter escaped with minor injuries while the elephant ran away towards the forest. Witnesses said that the elephant seemed upset before the gruesome killing. It was not following its handler’s instructions and many believed it has been punished for it.
The Thai’s foreign office confirmed that it was aware of the incident and expressed its condolences to the man’s family. A spokesperson commented, “We are offering support to the family of a British national who has sadly died following an incident in Koh Samui, Thailand, and are making contact with the local authorities to seek further information.”
Mr. Crowe was accompanied by his partner Catherine Hughes and their two children. The family was from Isle of Islay in Scotland, as reported by Independent.
Ms. Hughes said, “We were all here on holiday. My son and I didn’t go on the elephants. I’ve been given no information as to what happened or how it happened. Eilidh is OK but I don’t know exactly what happened.”
A spokesperson for the World Animal Protection said that her thoughts were with Mr. Crowe’s family. However, she also warned about the danger of riding on wild animals like elephants. She said that it was “a stark reminder” that elephants are wild animals and they should not be ridden.
She said, “If you can ride it, hug it or have a selfie with a wild animal, then the chances are it is cruel and the animal is suffering”.
She stated that because there is not enough information, most tourists are not really aware of the torture elephants undergo while they are trained to give rides to people.