The owner of an elephant park where a Chinese tour guide was trampled to death is to be fined for negligence – while the second injured woman will receive compensation.
Yongjie He, 35, had taken a party of around 30 tourists to the Golden Triangle elephant park in Chonburi when two women were returning from a trek sitting on top of one of the creatures.
Witnesses said that ten excited Chinese tourists surged forward surrounding 17-year-old male elephant Pai Utain to try and take pictures with the elephant while their friends sat on top.
But it is claimed that while posing next to Plai’s metre long tusks,one of group yanked the elephant’s tail which caused him to go into a frenzy – flinging one of the riders to the ground while the other desperately clung on and the group ran for cover.
Yongjie, who had been in charge of the tourists, scrambled to try and protect the group but was then caught in the path of the spooked elephant – which knocked him to the ground and trampled him.
Several mahouts ran over to get the bull under control and help down the other girl. Police and paramedics arrived at 5.30pm but Yongjie was pronounced dead at the scene having suffered catastrophic injuries to his head and chest.
Police have now charged the owner of the park which has closed for at least seven days while they install a fence to prevent Chinese tourists surrounding elephants.