Elephant Stampedes on South Korean Tourist

An unruly elephant trampled a South Korean tourist in Ratan­akkiri province Tuesday morning as the man tried to take a picture of the animal before going on a ride, provincial officials said Thurs­day.

Chong Huisut, 29, was in critical condition with broken ribs and other injuries Thursday at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital, said Hor Ang, first deputy police chief for Rat­anakkiri.

After Chong Huisut and three friends hired an elephant for an amusement ride two days earlier,             he crouched to take a photograph of the elephant in Lumphat district’s Lbaing Muoy commune, the animal rushed toward him, kicking and then trampling him, Hor Ang said.

“The elephant kicked Chong Huisut and stepped on his chest,” he said

The elephant handler and his son stopped the attack by beating the elephant with an iron hook un­til it backed away. Chong Hui­sut was flown immediately to Phnom Penh and admitted to the hos­pital.

The elephant likely attacked because it was frightened by the camera flash, said Tra Nuth Sean, director of the province’s Tour­ism Department. Its handlers used the elephant to haul loads of food and other commodities from place to place, and so it was not used to tourists, he said.

Tra Nuth Sean said it was the first time an elephant had at­tacked a tourist in the province, where there are approximately four elephants that sometimes give rides to tourists.

The elephants are used for work by their owners, he said, but are only rented out on re­quest.


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