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Angry Elephant Stomps Man to Death in Thailand

An angry circus elephant in eastern Thailand grabbed a man who had provoked him and then stomped on him until he was fatally injured, police said Saturday.

Surat Kaenthip, a 30-year-old air conditioner repairman, had hit the six-year-old elephant while he was resting in an open field Friday in Rayong province, 90 miles east of Bangkok, said police Lt. Col. Thanit Saeniwong na Ayuddhaya.

"The elephant then grabbed the man's body with his trunk and hurled him on to the ground before stomping on his body," he said.

Rescuers were deterred from helping Surat because the elephant ran toward them in a threatening manner, Thanit said. They eventually succeeded in taking Surat away but he later died in hospital from a cracked skull.

Onlookers then managed to temporally placate the elephant by feeding him bunches of bananas, but he turned angry again, and dented a pickup truck parked nearby before his trainer — who had been away — returned and managed to calm him down, Thanit said.