1. Headline
  1. Headline
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 10/17/2011 7:27:41 AM ET 2011-10-17T11:27:41

A circus elephant trampled to death a girl who was attempting to feed it, police in Vietnam said Monday.

  1. Stories from
    1. Burger King Franchisee of the Year Award Winner Gives $120K to Employees
    2. Teen Encouraged Friend to Commit Suicide, Police Say
    3. Brad Paisley Releases His Inner Rock God on a Cruise Up the Cumberland River
    4. Hollywood Reacts to Leonard Nimoy's Death
    5. Kanye West's Sweet New Tattoos May Make You Involuntarily Say 'Awww!'

Police officer Pham Ngoc Tien of Lao Cai province said the elephant was part of a troupe from Hanoi on a 10-day tour of the province. The animal was tied to a chain in the fenced backyard of a cultural center when it was not performing.

Tien said Monday that the 11-year-old girl and several other children had entered its enclosure. The girl was feeding the elephant when it lifted her up with its trunk, threw her to the ground and trampled her repeatedly.

Police officer Phan Van Quang told AFP that Nguyen Thao Anh was offering the elephant sugarcane. "She was trampled to death on the spot", he added.

Nguyen Xuan Quang, deputy director of the Vietnam Circus Federation, reportedly said that children had been teasing the animal prior to Sunday's incident. Speaking to AFP, Quang added that the victim's father was talking on the phone at the time.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Cbs Photo Archive / Getty Images Contributor

    Leonard Nimoy dies at 83: 5 lessons we learned from Spock

    2/27/2015 6:46:55 PM +00:00 2015-02-27T18:46:55
  1. Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

    Dave Coulier recalls old days: 'Supermodels were bouncing off' Stamos

    2/27/2015 6:12:49 PM +00:00 2015-02-27T18:12:49
  1. Gene Blevins / Reuters

    Celebrities and scientists remember Leonard Nimoy

    2/27/2015 6:32:08 PM +00:00 2015-02-27T18:32:08
  1. The dress is blue. Here’s why

    2/27/2015 5:47:49 PM +00:00 2015-02-27T17:47:49
  1. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    At Home with TODAY: Wrangler welcomes you to his home turf

    2/27/2015 4:36:15 PM +00:00 2015-02-27T16:36:15
  1. David M. Benett / Getty Images

    Read what Benedict Cumberbatch wrote to the family of departed fan

    2/27/2015 3:05:46 PM +00:00 2015-02-27T15:05:46