San Angelo, TX Elephant Kills Man, Apr 1961


San Angelo, Tex. (AP) -- An elephant suddenly went berserk Monday and trampled to death an elderly man and injured its trainer as hundreds of bystanders stood by in helpless horror.
The 40-year-old elephant, named Henrietta, had spent the morning pulling children in a wagon around a shopping center parking lot. At the time of the accident she was tethered near a truck.
"I don't know what happened, she must have gotten scared," said EARL TILLMAN, 20, of La Grange, Tex., the trainer.
Tillman said he saw JAMES JOHN ORR, 67, walking around the elephant, and the elephant suddenly swung at ORR.
ORR started to run. Before he got five feet the elephant knocked him down.
"I started to run over to him and before I got there she had her foot on him," He said, "I don't remember anything after that."
ORR died a few minutes after being trampled.
Witnesses said the elephant grabbed the trainer by the arm and tossed him over her back. TILLMAN suffered a broken arm and bruises.
After the accident the elephant was locked in the truck and placed under guard.
The elephant formerly was owned by the James Christy Circus and is now owned by Marlin Plunkett of La Grange.

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern Wisconsin 1961-04-25