An 11-year-old girl was trampled to death on Sunday by a circus elephant belonging to the Vietnam Circus Federation in the northern city of Lao Cai.
When Nguyen Thao Oanh, a sixth grade student, tried to feed a stick of sugarcane to the elephant, the animal suddenly grabbed her, threw her on the ground and trampled her to death.
According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred at 3 pm on Sunday, on the last day of the circus.
The Vietnam Circus Federation had been performing in the province from October 6 to 16 every night at 8pm.
During the day, the elephant was kept in a separate enclosure in another part of the town where many parents took their children to see the elephant. The children loved feeding the animal.
Local authorities said that the animal had not been kept caged in the enclosure but was out in the open and left unattended with just a chain around one leg which made it easy for children to easily approach and feed the animal. Such lack of precaution only made it vulnerably dangerous for young children to physical harm.