A 65 year old man has been attacked and killed by an elephant which had escaped from a circus as he was taking his regular morning stroll in south-west Germany, the police have said, according to BBC.
According to reports, the 34-year old elephant which was later captured and returned to the circus attacked the man as he was walking in woods near the town of Buchen. Police are reportedly investigating how the female African elephant, called Baby got out of its enclosure and why it acted so aggressively.
BBC says Heidelberg police spokeswoman Yvonne Schmierer told the AP news agency that "There's evidence of third-party involvement." "Either someone forgot to shut the enclosure, or the elephant was released intentionally."
BBC says Local news agency Stimme reported that the elephant had previously injured at least two people - including a man who was thrown in the air and a 12-year-old boy who suffered a broken jaw when he was hit by its trunk.
Stimme reported that the German branch of animal rights group Peta was urging the authorities to remove the elephant from the circus, according to BBC.