Elephant crushes trainer in India after he beat it to lie down

A mahout in India has been crushed to death by an elephant after he savagely beat it make it lie down.

CCTV footage of the incident shows elephant carer Arun Panikkar washing Bharath Viswanathan, an elephant owned by a local hospital trust.

Mr Panikkar was trying to make the beast lie down so he could wash it, but the elephant refused to cooperate. He then lashed out, hitting the placid animal with his stick.

Unfortunately, he struck the elephant so violently he lost his footing on the wet floor and fell on the ground under Bharath.

It was at this moment the elephant decided to roll over, squashing him with the full weight of its body.

Another helper rushed to his aid and attempted to move the beast. But this time the stubborn pachyderm refused to stand.

Once again the elephant was beaten until it did what it was told. But by the time the assistant managed to free Mr Panikkar, his skull had been crushed.

He was declared dead at a hospital. Police have now launched a probe into the accident.

Injuries due to elephants are not unknown in the area, which has a large population of domestic elephants.

It's common for them to turn on their handlers following mistreatment aimed at keeping them obedient.