MORE than £9,000 has been raised to support the family of a Scottish holidaymaker who was killed on an elephant trek during a family trip to Thailand.
Gareth Crowe, 36, was said to have been thrown by the animal after it turned on its handler during an outing on Koh Samui on Monday afternoon.
The Bangkok Post said he was trampled on by the elephant and stabbed in the torso by its tusk. His teenage step-daughter Eilidh escaped with minor injuries and was treated in hospital.
Friends of Mr Crowe, originally from Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, set up a crowdfunding page on JustGiving to raise £3,000 to help cover costs and “ensure Gareth gets a good send-off”.
More than three times the original amount has now been raised.
Organiser David Lundon wrote: “In light of the recent tragedy in Thailand regarding our dear friend Gareth Crowe, this page has been set up for anyone who would like to make a contribution to help with costs - to ease the burden on his family at such a traumatic time.
“Your contribution will help towards costs incurred - to bring family together and to ensure Gareth gets a good send-off.
“Gareth is an old family friend and knows many people. We thought it would be worth clubbing together to help in any way we can.
“Any contribution, however big or small, would greatly help those nearest and dearest to him at such a difficult time.”
Mr Crowe’s partner, Catherine Hughes, and their son were not on the trek, according to reports which also suggested the elephant named Golf was upset before the incident in the Tambon Bor Phud area and was not responding to its handler’s commands.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it is offering support to his family and are making “contact with the local authorities to seek further information’’.
The charity World Animal Protection said its thoughts were with Mr Crowe’s family but the incident was a ‘’stark reminder’’ that elephants are not meant to be ridden.
A spokeswoman said: ‘’Elephants are cruelly abused to tame them enough so they give rides and perform in shows.
‘’Most tourists don’t know about these abuses or the potential danger they put themselves in.
‘’If you can ride it, hug it or have a selfie with a wild animal, then the chances are it is cruel and the animal is suffering.’’