Scottish tourist killed by elephant in Koh Samui

PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

A foreign tourist was killed and two others were injured yesterday after a rutting elephant went berserk and then ran off into a crowd in Surat Thani's Koh Samui district.

Police rushed to a local safari park where they found the body of a 36-year-old Scottish man at the scene, while two injured persons had already been sent to the hospital.

A police investigation initially found that a Myanmar mahout leading the male elephant which had three tourists on its back. After walking for about 15 minutes, the elephant suddenly shook them off, stomped on them and fatally gored the male tourist while also wounding his 16-year-old daughter and the mahout.

This incident prompted provincial governor Wongsiri Phromchana to have officials get stricter on elephants registered for tourism on this famous resort island.

Wongsiri said there were five elephant camps on Samui but the Sarat Thani Livestock Office and the Koh Samui District Office had different figures for the total number of elephants. The former cited 63 while the latter cited 38, hence officials would investigate further on the differences. He also said that the related agencies would take care of the deceased and the injured tourists and also investigate how this happened as to prevent any re-occurrence.