Elephant tramples tourist to death in Zimbabwe

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Harare, Sep 27 (IANS) A wild elephant has killed a German tourist on a safari in Zimbabwe by trampling her while she was attempting to take photos of it, park authorities said on Thursday.

Tinashe Farawo, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said that the 49-year-old woman died of her injuries after the tragic encounter on Wednesday between the tourist group she was part of and a female pachyderm who split from her herd in Mana Pools National Park.

“They were walking with a guide. When they entered the park they came across an elephant herd and started to take pictures. I think they wanted to get as close as possible to the elephants,” Farawo told Efe news.

He added that authorities did not know what had upset the animal and that they were still investigating the incident.

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“We are always asking people to stay away from wild animals. They should keep a safe distance,” Farawo said.

The tourist group had entered Zimbabwe from neighbouring Zambia.

The woman, who was yet to be identified, received first aid after the attack, but succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital.

Mana Pools, located on the banks of the river Zambezi in northern Zimbabwe, is famous for being the only park in the region where tourists are able to freely walk around without being accompanied by a guide or park ranger.

Most elephants in the park are comfortable with the presence of humans and some even have been given names.

Deadly attacks by elephants on people are relatively uncommon in Africa. They sometimes occur when the tuskers stray away from their habitats and wander into local farmlands.

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–IANS

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