Thai elephant in forest
There are roughly 4,000 domesticated elephants in Thailand AFP

An elephant in Thailand has gored one man to death and injured another as the pair ate dinner at a restaurant by the beach.

Thai police have said the local telecoms employee, 28, died in hospital after sustaining wounds to his chest.

He was gored by the elephant in the eastern coastal city of Rangon on 15 June. The other diner remains in hospital.

"They were talking to the mahout [elephant keeper] about buying food for the elephant when it suddenly stabbed one man in the chest with its tusk and kicked the other," Lieutenant Thawat Nongsingha told AFP.

The elephant keeper has been charged with offences including violating animal welfare legislation and negligence causing death, Nongsingha said.

The maximum penalty for negligence causing death is 10 years in jail and a fine of 20,000 baht ($600).

Thailand's roughly 4,000 domesticated elephants outnumber the estimated 2,500 remaining in the wild. The capture of wild elephants for entertainment use in the country is banned.