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Father tells of Thailand tragedy.

A DISTRAUGHT father has described the scene of horror as a performing elephant killed his daughter and left him and another daughter seriously injured.

The animal went berserk and charged into spectators during a show in Thailand.

Andrea Taylor, aged 20, a trainee nurse from Wigan, Greater Manchester, died from internal injuries after being gored and crushed.

Her father Geoffrey, aged 53, and sister Helen, aged 23, who were sitting beside her in the front row during the performance at the privately-run animal park in Pattaya on Monday, were today still being treated in intensive care.

From his hospital bed Mr Taylor said: "Andrea and I got hit at the same time. She fell on top of me and the elephant crushed us against the chairs and concrete behind. I turned her over, and the elephant gored my leg with its tusk.

"Andrea screamed at me not to touch her back and then she said her legs were going numb.

Then I saw a huge wound in her abdomen. She said she could not see any more."

Video footage shows Mr Taylor, of Billinge, Greater Manchester, trying in vain to shield his youngest daughter.

The Thai government moved today to take more control over private zoos after the tragedy.

Cabinet minister Paweena Hongsakul, who supervises tourism policy, said she will propose setting up a state agency to control private-run zoos and animal parks to improve their safety standards and prevent such incidents.

"We also need to look into the standard of care and feeding they give to the animals. We have heard a lot of times of hungry animals attacking tourists,"

The Bangkok Post reported that the management of the park was willing to compensate for the death and injuries following the accident.

Fences have been put up to improve safety .

The resort's vet said the elephant may have been suffering from stress and heat.
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Author:Tolputt, Harriet
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 26, 2000
Words:315
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