Yangon, Myanmar — An albino elephant, considered an auspicious creature in Myanmar, accidentally killed his mahout who happened to bear the same name as the current president, said a report.
Thein Sein, 56, died on the way to the hospital after being accidentally gored by one of three white elephants kept at the Royal White Elephant Garden just outside Yangon, a garden official said.
The elephant was moving his massive head up and down when he caught the mahout in the left chest, according to reports.
The 19-year-old male creature is Yaza Gaha Thiri Pissaya Gaza Yaza, the first white elephant captured under the junta that ruled Myanmar between 1988 and 2010. It shares the Royal White Elephant Garden with two other albino female elephants.
In Southeast Asia the capture of a white elephant is regarded as a sign of the worthiness of the ruling kingdom or government.
Throughout history, sacred white elephants were kept by monarchs in Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. To possess them was a sign that the king ruled with justice and power, and that the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity.
The government of Myanmar currently has eight white elephants, including five in the capital of Nay Pyi Daw.