Charging elephant kills elderly American woman in Zambia

April 4, 2024
2,610 Views

A charging elephant killed an elderly American woman when it flipped over the car she was traveling in at a national park in Zambia.

The “aggressive” creature buffeted the vehicle carrying six tourists and a guide, tour operator, Wilderness, said in a statement Tuesday. It added that the 80-year-old victim died after Saturday’s incident on a game drive at the Kafue National Park in western Zambia.

A video circulating on social media apparently showing the incident shows a large elephant running towards a car, which slows down as it approaches its left side. The elephant then flips the vehicle over and the passengers can be heard gasping as the car rolls over.

NBC News does not know the condition or identity of the person who filmed the video.

Photos shared online of the car, which is emblazoned with logo of the tour operator, show it tipped onto its side after the incident, with a deep dent in two of its side doors.

Wilderness, which describes itself as a “leading conservation and hospitality company” operating in eight African countries, including Zambia, did not respond to NBC News when asked to confirm the authenticity of the video and photos.

But the tour operator’s CEO, Keith Vincent, said in the statement that the company’s “guides are all extremely well trained and experienced.”

“Sadly in this instance the terrain and vegetation was such that the guide’s route became blocked and he could not move the vehicle out of harm’s way quickly enough,” he added.

Gail Mattson, during a safari in Zambia
Gail Mattson. Rona Wells via Facebook

The company did not name the victim, but her daughter Rona Wells, identified her as Gail Mattson in a post on Facebook. She said her mother died in a “tragic accident while on her dream adventure.”

NBC News has reached out to the family for further comment.

Another female guest was also injured in the incident and taken to a medical facility in South Africa, the Wilderness statement said, adding that four others were treated for minor injuries.

The exact cause of Mattson’s death was unclear, but the company said her body would be repatriated to her family in the U.S. with the support of local Zambian authorities and the U.S. embassy in capital Lusaka.

“This is a tragic event and we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died,” the statement added.

Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest and oldest national park, according to the park’s website, and spans an area of more than 8,000 square miles. Vast regions of the park remain unexplored and the website says it is home to a variety of untamed wildlife.

Source link

You may be interested

Israel foils Iranian aerial attack
Business
shares3,399 views
Business
shares3,399 views

Israel foils Iranian aerial attack

new admin - Apr 14, 2024

[ad_1] IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.Now PlayingIsrael foils Iranian aerial…

Prep for the Boston Marathon with the best running shoes for marathon runners in 2024
Top Stories
shares3,099 views
Top Stories
shares3,099 views

Prep for the Boston Marathon with the best running shoes for marathon runners in 2024

new admin - Apr 14, 2024

Asics/Nike/Hoka Every year in the U.S., over one million people will take part in more than 1,000 marathons. Whether you're hoping…

UConn’s Dan Hurley recalls growing up surrounded by basketball royalty: ‘It was tough’
Sports
shares2,742 views
Sports
shares2,742 views

UConn’s Dan Hurley recalls growing up surrounded by basketball royalty: ‘It was tough’

new admin - Apr 14, 2024

[ad_1] Dan Hurley has lived up to the Hurley family name, but coming from basketball royalty had its challenges. Hurley, like…