Chinese tour guide He Yongjie was attacked by two elephants and trampled to death on Thursday afternoon after saving a woman"s life in Pattaya, Thailand.
Two Chinese tourists were also injured in the accident.
According to eyewitnesses, He and several members of the group, all from Chongqing, were waiting in the parking lot at around 5 pm outside the Golden Triangle Fruit Garden, a tourist spot where people can ride on elephants. Suddenly, two elephants rushed down the ramp and into the parking lot with their trainers still on their backs. The animals attacked a Chinese woman, Lai Tianli, a member of He"s tour group.
"He rushed out and dragged her to a safe place," said Tian Maoxi, one of 19 witnesses.
"But he became the new target of the mad elephants and they used their trunks to lift him up and smash him to the ground. They chased after him and then stomped him to death."
All the witnesses signed their names and mobile numbers on a written statement about the accident.
"He gave his life to save others," they said in the statement. "He is a true hero."
He, 35, a Chongqing native, graduated from the Japanese department of Sichuan International Studies University in 2004 and became a tour guide. He is the only child of his family and is married, with no children. His wife, parents and several family members arrived in Thailand on Friday afternoon.
Ouyang Tao, one of He"s friends, said he was "the kindest and most selfless person" he had ever met.
"In such a circumstance, maybe 99 out of 100 people will avoid danger, but he put his life in danger to save others," he said.
The Chinese embassy in Thailand immediately asked local authorities to take care of the remains and the two injured Chinese tourists, according to a report on China Central Television. The National Tourism Administration also ordered its Bangkok office to visit He"s family and the injured tourists, while calling on travel agencies to further instruct tourists about behaving with good manners.
Local police and tourism authorities have sent representatives to the hospital to see to the needs of the Chinese patients. One patient was discharged; the other is still being treated for injuries that are not life-threatening.
The owner of the Fruit Garden contacted the insurance company and promised to provide compensation.
"Though there are rumors that some Chinese tourists might have irritated the elephants, the reason the animals went wild remains unclear," said Zhong Yi, deputy director of Chongqing Association of Tour Guides.glastonbury wristband plastic wristbands uk rubber wristbands rubber wristbands wristbands com