UPDATE1: Elephant kills handler in western Japan amusement facility

CULTURE

An animal handler died Sunday after being hurled against an iron fence by an elephant at an amusement facility complex in western Japan, police said.

Thai national Wichai Madee and another handler were washing the animal in a cage at Adventure World in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, when the elephant suddenly stood up, according to the police.

Madee, 37, standing in front of the 40-year-old, 3.5-ton female elephant with a brush in his hand, was flung against a nearby iron fence and the animal then used its trunk to push him around.

The Thai man was taken to a hospital immediately after the incident, where he was pronounced dead after an hour, the police said.

The incident occurred around 9:15 a.m., before the facility opened, the venue operator said.

==Kyodo

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