Gareth Crowe Named As British Tourist Killed In Thai Elephant Ride

02/02/2016 09:33 | Updated 02 February 2016

A Scottish man who was killed in front of his teenage daughter during an elephant ride in Thailand on Monday has been named in reports as Gareth Crowe.

The 36-year-old was thrown from the back of the distressed elephant on Monday and trampled after the animal turned on his trainer.

Witnesses said that shortly before the attack the elephant, named Golf, had appeared upset and refused to follow the instructions of the mahout who hit him several times with a bullhook.

The incident has reignited the debate about the cruelty involved in elephant rides and the dangers they pose to tourists.

gareth crowe

Gareth Crowe has been named as the father killed during a Thai elephant ride on Monday

Crowe was on the elephant ride with his 16-year-old daughter, Eilidh Hughes, in the popular tourist destination of Koh Samui.

The elephant's trainer was attacked when he climbed down to take a photo of the tourists, the Bangkok Post reports.

After the elephant impaled the Myanmar trainer, the animal ran off, throwing the British tourists from his back. Crowe was reportedly trampled and stabbed in the torso by the animal's tusk.

It is believed that the teenager escaped with minor injuries and is being treated in hospital.


An elephant dubbed Rambo but also called by his nickname Golf is chained to a tree on the resort island of Samui, Surat Thani Province

Crowe's partner, Catherine Hughes, and their son were not on the trek, according to reports.

His daughter appeared to respond to witness claims that her father had teased the elephant with a banana.

She wrote on the Samui Times website: "He was not teasing the elephant as I was his 16-year-old daughter who is lying in hospital and I was on it."

Elephant rides are a popular activity for tourists, but animal welfare groups say the practice is “cruel” as the wild animals frequently get hit with bullhooks during training to ensure the animal is submissive and compliant.

The Chiangrai Times reports that witnesses recall the 13-year-old elephant being hit several times with a bullhook by the mahout moments before the incident.

World Animal Protection is urging visitors to the popular South East-Asian destination to avoid such “entertainment”.

elephant ride thailand

Elephant rides are a popular tourist activity, but animal protection groups say the practice is “cruel”

The group said: “Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the man who lost his life.

“This is a stark reminder that elephants are wild animals, and not meant to be ridden.

“Elephants are cruelly abused to tame them enough so they give rides and perform in shows.

“Most tourists don’t know about these abuses, or the potential danger they put themselves in.

“If you can ride it, hug it or have a selfie with a wild animal, then the chances are it is cruel and the animal is suffering. Now you know, vote with your feet and don’t go.”

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are offering support to the family of a British national who has sadly died following an incident in Koh Samui, Thailand, and are making contact with the local authorities to seek further information."

The images below show the brutal training an elephant endured at the same park that Gareth Crowe was killed:

    Screen grab from a video showing a guide poking a docile and calm elephant taken at the same Thai park where British tourist Gareth Crowe was killed - taken just a week before his death.
    This screen grab from the shocking footage shows an elephant being speared by a handler.
    The elephant is sprayed with water during training.
    The animal is frequently speared by the mahout during training.
    A mahout approaches the chained elephant.
    The trainer grabs the elephant's ear. The hook, used to tame the animal, can be seen clearly.
    The elephant is forced to the ground.


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