THE first man ever to film a Malaysian tiger in the wild has been trampled by an elephant in an Asian jungle.

Wildlife cameraman Stephen Hogg, from Crook, County Durham, a friend of Sir David Attenborough, who faces tigers, crocodiles, spiders and other dangers on a regular basis was almost killed when he came face to face with the female elephant and her calf.

Mr Hogg, 50, who works as a photographic consultant for the Malaysian World Wide Fund for nature, and who worked with Sir David on the TV series Life in the Undergrowth, revealed his narrow escape in a fax to his parents, Harold and Doreen Hogg, to their home in Crook, County Durham.

He told them he was in the Malaysian jungle with a woman vet, and they were trying to sedate and photograph the elephants when they were attacked.

Mr Hogg, who was the first man to capture a Sumatran Rhino on camera, said: "We found the mother and proceeded to dart her.

"However, this female was being quite stubborn and fought the drug.

"We fitted a satellite collar to her so we could track her movements, then we had to give the antidote to wake her up.

"Within one minute of the antidote being given she woke up and charged right towards us so we quickly hid and she lost interest.

"Then she must have heard the other guys further in the forest so she set off after then like a freight train, knocking down trees.

"But then she returned, appearing as if from nowhere - she hit the vet knocking her to the ground.

"The elephant then started to bend its front knee and put its head down.

"This is how they kill people, by crushing them with their heads.

"The only thing I could think of to stop this was to shout at the elephant to distract its attention.

"The elephant then turned on me and I set off running like I have never run before.

"I could feel the vibrations through the ground as she came up behind me and the sound of her screaming was deafening."

He said the elephant hit him "fair and square in the back, lifting me into the air and onto a muddy embankment.

"I really thought I was going to die, not many people have ever escaped an attack from a wild elephant."

But because the elephant was still woozy from the dart, Mr Hogg managed to escape by sliding down an embankment.

He is now recovering from injuries including five broken ribs and a displaced vertebrae.

His father, 79, a keen photographer himself, said: "Stephen is presently filming in the jungle in Borneo.

"The attack happened three months ago, but it took him a while to tell us about it.

"Communications in the jungle are not easy and we find it easiest to talk by fax."