ĶOTA KINABALU: A Borneo Pygmy elephant gored its handler to death at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park near here on Christmas morning.

Joe Fred Lansou, 51, who was apparently handling the jumbo alone in the enclosure when it tusked him at least three times in the abdomen at about 8am on Sunday.

The Sabah Wildlife Department ranger was the Head of the elephant unit in the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, according to a Facebook post.

Medical officers, who rushed to the scene, pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Penampang police were also called to investigate the incident though it is understood that no signs foul play were found.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin confirmed the incident and said he was waiting for a report from the department.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the matter was under police investigation.

“I cannot comment at this moment,” he said when contacted.

Penampang OCPD Deputy Supt Mohd Haris Ibrahim could not be reached immediately for comment.