Circus elephant kills 11-year-old girl

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A circus elephant trampled to death a girl in northern Vietnam Sunday afternoon when the girl sneaked into a yard to feed it.

The elephant belongs to a Vietnam Circus Federation troupe that was on a week-long tour in Lao Cai Province.

Eyewitnesses said the elephant was tied to a chain in the fenced backyard of the local cultural center waiting for the troupe's scheduled last show there in the evening.

They said Nguyen Thao Oanh, a sixth grader of Le Quy Don Secondary School, and several other children sneaked into the backyard.

When Oanh was picking up a sugarcane, the elephant suddenly lifted her up with its trunk, threw her to the ground and trampled her repeatedly until she died, the witnesses said.

The children may have teased the elephant while they were feeding it, the witnesses said.

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