Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 08:56 UK

Elephant attack man played dead

Jonathan Sykes
Jonathan Sykes had just arrived at the camp when he was attacked

A man from West Yorkshire who was gored by an elephant while holidaying in Kenya has described how he played dead to escape the ordeal.

Jonathan Sykes, 24, from Cleckheaton, was in a group with a guide when the animal charged at them.

As the elephant caught him he said: "I just dropped and curled up into a ball hoping it would leave me alone".

During the attack the elephant pierced Mr Sykes's leg, causing him to lose five pints of blood.

Mr Sykes and eight others had just arrived at their camp when their guide suggested they should go to look at an elephant which was nearby.

They saw the animal which then disappeared into bushes.

"This noise started behind the bush and it just came running out, just charging out at me basically", Mr Sykes said.

The group fled but the elephant followed Mr Sykes.

Jonathan Sykes' leg
Mr Sykes lost five pints of blood

"It was really strange, lots of decisions were being made in my head really quickly", he said.

"I decided to run off to the side and start zig zagging because with the elephant being larger it can't turn as quick as a human."

Elephants can reach top speeds of about 25mph and Mr Sykes said that after running for around 20m (65ft) the animal caught up with him.

The attack left Mr Sykes needing stitches and walking with crutches although he is expected to make a full recovery.

"I can't blame the elephant for what it's done", he said. "I just won't be going as close to them in the future."



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