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    Handler killed by elephant on film set

Tuesday 17th April 2001

An elephant handler has been killed on a South African film set after being knocked over by one of his animals.

The incident happened near Johannesburg when the man went to the toilet through some bushes.

The cow elephant is believed to have hit her handler with her trunk. It is not clear if she walked on the 23-year-old.

The man, who was the elephant's handler for three years, died at the scene.

Circus owner Brian Boswell said the elephants had been used as background animals for the filming and added the 18-year-old animal had shown no signs of aggression.

"We had finished filming, but decided not to drive back during the long weekend and were just relaxing. The handlers had just had lunch when the man went to the toilet through the bushes," said Mr Boswell.

"The one cow, who had been grazing nearby walked over and knocked him over with her trunk - she may have walked over him - and went on grazing. However there was no blood, which would be normal if an elephant, which weighs several tons, had stood on him."

Paramedics arrived on the scene within 10 minutes and spent another 30 minutes trying to resuscitate the man.

Vicky Brooker, the joint owner of the Glen Africa farm where the accident happened, said elephants are boisterous and tend to lean on each other and hit each other with their trunks.

Ms Boswell said no final decision had been taken on the elephant's future, but it was believed she would be used for breeding and kept away from people, reports the iafrica website.

Copyright © 2001 Ananova Ltd

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