An elephant ran amok, goring and trampling an American woman to death when she and her companions startled the beast with a camera flash and loud noises, police said Thursday.

Capt. Rataphol Thaprakhon, deputy police chief of Tha Thom district in Surin Province, 225 miles northeast of Bangkok, said Ann Louise Harrison, 26, of Philadelphia was killed by a 20-year-old elephant named Phai Thongbai.Rataphol said Harrison, a volunteer at the Population and Community Development Association office in northern Thailand, her husband, Michael, and a Thai colleague were watching working elephants at a remote village Tuesday.

He said the elephant was in rut and attacked when the group moved closer to watch him being fed and to take photographs.