- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An elephant handler herding the beasts for their daily exercise at a South African animal sanctuary was trampled to death, the park’s owner said on Monday.

Craig Saunders, who owns the Elephant Sanctuary near Hartbeespoort Dam, just west of Pretoria, said the handler was riding on top of one elephant when he slipped, The Associated Press reported.

The elephant had been engaging in “boisterous behavior” with another elephant, Mr. Saunders said, in the AP report. The handler was then wedged in between the two animals, and was crushed and trampled.

None of the park guests witnessed the incident, Mr. Saunders said. It took place during early morning exercises in a location that’s closed to guests, AP reported.

The sanctuary does offer elephant rides to guests, AP said. The name of the victim was not immediately released.