MELUN, France (AFP) - An 84-year-old man was killed near Paris when an elephant belonging to a local circus escaped from its pen and hit him with its trunk, police said on Monday.
The elephant performed as usual on Sunday afternoon in Lizy-sur-Ourcq - some 50km from Paris - and was then taken back to its open-air enclosure.
Witnesses described how the elephant had grabbed a tarpaulin and placed it over the electric fence surrounding its pen, before breaking through barriers and trailers that formed a second enclosure.
The elephant then moved towards the elderly man and struck him with its trunk, slamming him to the ground.
The unidentified man was taken to hospital but died from his injuries overnight on Sunday.