Wild elephant tramples Chinese man to death in India: Police

 An Asian elephant seen in its enclosure a wildlife park.
An Asian elephant seen in its enclosure a wildlife park.PHOTO: REUTERS

RAIPUR, India (AFP) - A wild elephant on Monday trampled a Chinese man to death as he was taking a morning stroll through a dense central Indian forest, police said.

The 41-year-old victim was fatally injured by the animal in the Gharghoda forest of Chhattisgarh state, local police chief Sanjeev Shukla said by telephone.

"A wild elephant today trampled a Chinese engineer in Gharghoda forest area," Mr Shukla said.

He identified the victim as Jong Kitau, a Chinese engineer working on a power project in the state and staying at a local guest house with his team.

The incident took place when Mr Kitau and his colleague set out for a morning walk and came face to face with the elephant, which charged at the pair.

While his colleague managed to flee with only minor injuries, Mr Kitau was unable to escape in time, Mr Shukla said.

Indian elephants can grow to 6.4m in length and 3.5m in height, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They can weigh up to 5 tonnes.

India is home to some 25,000 elephants but their numbers are dwindling, mainly due to poaching and human destruction of their habitats.