Tourist Elephant Tramples Trainer To Death As Passengers Wait For Ride

This is the horrifying moment an elephant trainer is trampled to death by a four-ton tusker in seconds as terrified tourists wait for a ride on the beast’s back.

The 62-year-old mahout, named only as Balakrishnan by police, had been preparing the elephant to carry holidaymakers at a safari centre in Kerala, India, on 20th June.

Video footage of his grim end shows him tapping the tusker’s legs with his ankusha stick to manoeuvre it into position so tourists can climb aboard.

But without warning the elephant turned on him and kicked him over with a powerful swipe of a front leg.

Then, while he was on the ground, it pressed its full weight on his legs, crushing them into the ground.

As the tusker grabbed Balakrishnan by his neck it then trampled over his hip and finally his head and neck.

Photo shows the moment man was being attacked and crushed by an elephant at a safari center in Kallar, India. The man died. (Newsflash)

Then the beast picked him up with its trunk and shook his body like a rag doll before slamming it onto the dirt.

Only then did another handler intervene and led the elephant away at the end of the clip.

It later emerged that the safari centre had been operating illegally and the elephant was only registered for forestry work dragging timber.

It was not supposed to be working carrying people, said the Indian Forest Service, which ordered the immediate closure of the centre.

An investigation revealed that none of the elephants at the centre had been registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India for use in the tourist industry.

Photo shows the moment man was being attacked and crushed by an elephant at a safari center in Kallar, India. The man died. (Newsflash)

It is unclear if the elephant that killed Balakrishnan had been a victim of animal cruelty, but reports say it had previously acted aggressively towards him.

Idukki Social Forestry Divisional Forest Officer Vipindas P.K. said: “The owner has been asked to shift the animal to Kottayam, where it is registered under the Forest department.”

Out of 35 elephants used across eight safari centres in Idukki, only four have reportedly been registered with the Animal Welfare Board.

Idukki Collector Sheeba George said the district administration would not tolerate illegal elephant safari centres.

She announced a new series of inspections and strict punishments for rule-breakers.


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