Mohd Hashim Ishak, 40, is recovering at the Taiping Hospital, where he has been warded for suspected fractures and internal injuries following the 8am attack yesterday.
Zoo director Dr Kevin Lazarus said the 17-year-old elephant, named Setia, was experiencing a state of musth, a condition in elephants that makes them aggressive.
Musth is a state or condition of violent, destructive frenzy occurring with the rutting (or mating) season in male elephants. It is followed by a secretion of an oily substance from glands between the eyes and mouth.
Dr Lazarus said: “It depends on individual animals, as the condition, referred by locals as naik minyak, can last from a few days to a few months.”
After visiting the victim at about noon yesterday, hed told reporters that he believed the injuries caused by Setia were “not very serious.”
Hashim said he was cleaning the elephant's den at about 8am when the animal lunged at him from behind.
“The elephant prodded a tusk into the side of my chest and then pinned its foot over me,” he said.
Some workers who saw the incident rushed into the den and pulled him out to safety.