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Man stomped to death while trying to hypnotise elephant

January 14, 2019 Headline News No Comments

Questions are being asked after a crowd of horrified tourists in a national park witnessed the sudden death of a man who had approached an elephant and was trying to hypnotise it.

Interaction between tourists and elephants is already controversial, mainly when tourists ride the animals – but it seldom reaches the level of fatal foolhardiness demonstrated last week.

Onlookers, including people filming on their phones, shouted in alarm as the elephant stomped and trampled the would-be hypnotist. Children in the audience were distressed.

The shocking event – footage of which was controversially placed on YouTube – happened in Yala National Park, the most visited and second-largest national park in Sri Lanka.

Yala, bordering the Indian Ocean, aims at the tourism mass market, with hundreds of safari trucks allowed in each day.

In circumstances which are still unclear, a man is reported to have attempted to demonstrate to onlookers that he could hypnotise a wild elephant.

Wild elephants are commonly found in Yala. Elephant Rock is in the background 

Footage shows the man resolutely approaching a solo elephant, believed to be male, and confronting it. The animal turns and moves towards him – and disaster strikes. The whole interaction takes just a few seconds.

Local news websites in Sri Lanka reported horror and confusion among witnesses, amid claims that the victim may have been intoxicated on some substance. Park authorities prohibit people leaving vehicles during tours of the park.

The park warns tourists to observe animals but otherwise leave them alone.

“Just as much as an irritating and selfish neighbour can drive us wild, destroy our peace and turn us into angry human beings, the slightest thing can upset the equilibrium of animals and that may happen quite unwittingly on your part. This is why educating ourselves is to prepare ourselves for the journey. Avoid any kind of interaction, verbal or through gestures.”

Hypnotist confronts elephant before fatal charge

The park advises visitors to “be patient and respectful” with animals. Questions are being asked about how an act of such folly could have taken place.

Video footage of the hypnotist’s tragic and fatal confrontation with the elephant may be viewed on YouTube on the link below, though it may distress some viewers.


Written by Peter Needham

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