A Scottish man has died after being gored by an elephant in Thailand, local press has reported. Gareth Crowe, 36, and his 16-year-old daughter had been riding the animal when it apparently turned on its handler on the island of Koh Samui.
The Bangkok Post said the 13-year-old elephant, called Golf, became agitated when its handler stopped in a forested area to take pictures, hitting the handler with its trunk before stabbing him in the torso with a tusk, causing serious injuries.
His daughter was treated in hospital after sustaining minor injuries. When the incident was over, the elephant ran off into the forest.
It had reportedly appeared upset shortly before lashing out, refusing to follow instructions.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “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.”
The charity World Animal Protection said that while its thoughts were with Mr Crowe’s loved ones, it was a “stark reminder” that elephants were not meant to be ridden.
A spokeswoman said: “Elephants are cruelly abused to tame them enough so they give rides and perform in shows.
Most tourists don’t know about these abuses, or the potential danger they put themselves in. 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.