A Kampong Speu man was killed instantly last week after an elephant grabbed his head in its trunk and smashed it against the ground. Svay Yeoun, chief of the provincial police department’s capital crimes office, identified the victim as 52-year-old Yang Mark of Samrong Tong district. Svay Yeoun said the incident occurred on Thursday after the elephant’s owner, 42-year-old Chan Chok, rode his pachyderm to the victim’s home. In a show of drunken bravado, the victim attempted to demonstrate that he was unafraid of the elephant by slapping it repeatedly in the face, prompting the animal’s deadly reprisal. “The elephant is very mean. Its owner warned Yang Mark not to get close to it, but he did not listen,” Svay Yeoun said. Yang Mark’s relatives declined to pursue criminal charges against Chan Chok in connection with the incident because they acknowledged that it had been the victim’s fault. Chan Chok, however, donated 1 million riels (US$234) to cover funeral costs, Svay Yeoun said.