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Bornean elephant fatally gores handler in Malaysia park

By AFP bureaus Published Dec 30, 2022 9:54 am

An elephant fatally gored its handler in a nature reserve on the Malaysian side of the island of Borneo, on Christmas Day, park officials said Dec. 29.

The handler was tending to an injured elephant calf when another captured elephant suddenly gored him "very severely" in the chest, Augustine Tuuga, the director of the park in Sabah state, told AFP.

He added that Fred Lanson, 49, "died on the spot."

The accident occurred on December 25 in the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in the northeast of the island of Borneo.

"This is really an unfortunate incident," Sabah's minister of tourism, culture and environment, Jafry Ariffin, told AFP, adding there would be an investigation.

The park is a sanctuary for 16 Bornean elephants, an endangered species, with only six handlers caring for them.

In December 2011, a wild elephant killed an Australian tourist in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in eastern Sabah.

Bornean elephants, a native species of the island, are a subspecies of Asian elephants.