Advertisement
 
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsTrainers

Circus Elephant Goes Berserk, Is Shot After Killing Trainer

August 22, 1994| from Associated Press

HONOLULU — A rampaging circus elephant killed a trainer and injured a groom before she was shot down in the street.

The 21-year-old African elephant named Tyke went berserk just before she was to perform with four other elephants in Saturday's matinee.

Tyke picked up William Beckwith, a groom, and threw him down, then tried to stomp his head. A trainer, identified by a circus official as Allen Campbell, 37, was crushed by the animal as he tried to help Beckwith.

A dozen people were injured as they fled.

The elephant broke through the main exit and led authorities on a chase of several blocks. She was cornered in an industrial area and shot repeatedly until she crumpled to the ground.

Workers from the Honolulu Zoo gave her a lethal injection at the scene.

The carcass was removed with a crane and taken to the state Department of Agriculture for a necropsy. The other elephants were quarantined, said attorney Roy Yempuku, who represents Circus International.

John Cuneo, president of Illinois-based Hawthorne Corp. and owner of the elephants, said Sunday that Beckwith had been working with the elephants for just over a month and likely startled Tyke by walking behind her.

He was in fair condition Sunday at The Queen's Medical Center.

The circus went ahead with its Saturday evening show.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|