In Vietnam elephant kills zookeeper

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 The enclosure where an elephant killed a zookeeper in the southern province of Binh Duong December 23 / PHOTOS COURTESY OF TUOI TRE

Another deadly animal attack at one of Vietnam's leading theme parks in the southern province of Binh Duong has claimed the life of a man.

On Monday a male elephant killed zookeeper Doan Huu Tai, 27, at Dai Nam Park when he was painting the two-ton animal's enclosure, according to its director.

Duong Thanh Phi said Tai entered the enclosure and almost immediately the elephant -- called Ca -- which was drinking water inside trumpeted and threw Tai against one of the concrete poles making up the enclosure.

Hearing Tai's scream, Pham Van Ven, another zookeeper, rushed to the site and called for help.

A two-ton elephant that was isolated after fatally attacking a zookeeper in Vietnam

They managed to push the nine-year-old elephant into another enclosure and rushed Tai to hospital, where he died.

The animal is now kept in isolation, and the park said the zoo would be closed from Tuesday to Friday.

Phi said Ca was gifted by the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak in 2008 when the park opened.

Tai was one of the workers to have taken care of it since then, he said, adding that it is normally "very gentle" and let outside for visitors to see.

It is not known if the animal was in musth, a condition that bull elephants often find themselves in winter. It is linked with the rut and testosterone levels are very high then, making even placid animals extremely aggressive. A telltale sign is a thick secretion from the sides of their head.

The Binh Duong police are investigating.

In September 2009, also at Dai Nam zoo, an Indochina tiger leapt out of its enclosure and attacked three men who were planting trees, killing one and seriously injuring another. The third man escaped by diving into a moat.

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