US tourist on safari in Zambia killed by charging elephant

US tourist on safari in Zambia killed
Zambia in 2023 Angus McComiskey/Alamy

US tourist on safari in Zambia killed: US tourist on safari in Zambia killedAn unfortunate event occurred in Zambia’s Kafue National Park, where an elephant attacked a tourist van, killing an elderly American woman. Tragically, four other people sustained minor injuries in the incident, which happened during a game drive—an outing to see animals. Another woman was hurt as well. The conservation and hospitality organization Wilderness, which was in charge of the trip, issued a statement on Tuesday confirming the occurrence.

Despite the guides’ considerable training and expertise, a bull elephant unexpectedly charged the vehicle carrying six tourists and a guide, according to Wilderness CEO Keith Vincent. Vincent elaborated on how the guide’s path was blocked by flora and terrain, making it difficult to quickly manoeuvre the car to safety.

The guest who passed away was identified as 79-year-old Gail Mattson, and Vincent extended his condolences to her family. He also highlighted the company’s dedication to helping people impacted by the tragic tragedy. After Wilderness incorrectly stated her age, Mattson’s family clarified that she was a cherished grandma and a retired mortgage professional. Blake Vetter, her son, emphasized her daring nature by mentioning that his mother wanted to go on a month-long safari in Africa even though she was rather old.

In the midst of the terrible disaster, Rona Wells, who was Mattson’s daughter, commemorated her life on Facebook by sharing happy recollections of her mother’s dream vacation. Although Zambia is well-known among safari aficionados for its world-class national parks and knowledgeable guides, this incident highlights how unpredictable animal encounters can be.

Wildlife viewings in Zambia’s biggest national park, Kafue, include lions, leopards, and antelope species that are uncommon elsewhere. But tragic events involving American tourists have happened in the park before. Her husband was convicted guilty of Bianca Rudolph’s murder in 2016 after her body was discovered in her hunting cabin.

The new tragedy is being investigated by authorities. The loss of Gail Mattson highlights the inherent risks of wildlife interactions, even if tour companies have taken extensive safety procedures. A sobering reminder of the fine line that must be drawn between risk and safety when visiting natural attractions.


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