Tourist killed by elephant on safari in Zambia’s Kafue National Park

An 80-year-old American woman has been killed while on safari in Zambia after an elephant charged at her car and flipped it over several times.

She was part of a group of six tourists staying at the luxurious Lufupa Camp in the country’s Kafue National Park, the largest game reserve in Africa, with a tour company called Wilderness Zambia.

The group were out on a photography tour last weekend when the elephant charged.

Footage posted online shows the vehicle cruising along a bush-lined road where a bull elephant – the largest land-living mammal on Earth – can be seen walking in the vegetation.

But when the elephant apparently spots them, it breaks into first a trot and then an all-out run.

Just as the elephant catches up with the car, the vehicle suddenly stops. A statement from Wilderness said the route was “blocked”.

The passenger in the car continues to film as the elephant turns towards the group and flips the vehicle over twice.

‘Tragic event’

The 80-year-old woman, who has not been named, later died from her injuries. Another woman in the group was also injured and hospitalised. The four other guests received treatment locally for minor injuries.

“At around 9.30am on Saturday morning the six guests were on the game drive when the vehicle was unexpectedly charged by the bull elephant,” said Keith Vincent, Wilderness Zambia’s chief executive officer, in a statement released to local media.

“Our guides are all extremely well trained and experienced, but 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.”

Mr Vincent says Kafue National Park’s management dispatched a helicopter to the scene.

“This is a tragic event and we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died. We are also, naturally, supporting those guests and the guide involved in this distressing incident,” Mr Vincent said.

Kafue National Park is the largest game reserve in Africa and is managed by African Parks, which also controls a further 22 wildlife sanctuaries in Africa.

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