Elephant escapes from circus and kills 65-year-old man in Germany

Roshina Jowaheer

A 65-year-old man was trampled to death by an escaped circus elephant while on his morning walk in Buchen, southwest Germany.

The man was walking in woods near the town when he was attacked by the 34-year-old African elephant, called Baby.

According to the BBC, police are now investigating how she escaped from her enclosure.

"There's evidence of third-party involvement," Heidelberg police spokeswoman Yvonne Schmierer told AP.

"Either someone forgot to shut the enclosure, or the elephant was released intentionally."

Sky News reports that the elephant had previously injured two people, including a 12-year-old boy who she struck with her trunk at a circus in Burladingen, breaking his jaw.

PETA has called for the elephant to be removed from the circus.

In 2013, an 84-year-old man was killed in France after a two-tonne elephant escaped from a circus and hit him with its trunk.

The elephant had performed in a show in Lizy-sur-Ourcq, just outside Paris, and was then taken back to her open-air enclosure. But once back in her pen at the circus, owned by Cirque d'Europe, the elephant grabbed a tarpaulin and placed it over the electric fence surrounding the enclosure.

It broke through barriers and trailers that formed a second enclosure. The elephant, reportedly named Tanya, then rushed towards the elderly man and struck him with its trunk, slamming him to the ground.

The man had been playing bowls with friends on the village square when the elephant attacked. He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries overnight.

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