Elephant charges safari truck killing 80-year-old American tourist

A woman was killed and others were injured after an elephant charged at their truck during a safari trip in Zambia.

HARARE, Zimbabwe — A woman was killed and others were injured after an elephant charged at their truck during a safari trip in Zambia.

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A bull elephant charged at a truck of tourists at the Kafue National Park on March 30, according to The Associated Press. Wilderness Safaris said that the elephant was aggressive and had charged at the truck unexpectedly which caused the vehicle to flip over. It’s not clear what provoked the animal.

Five others were injured, according to the AP. One of the five tourists, who was seriously injured, was flown by helicopter for treatment in South Africa, the company said. The four others had minor injuries.

Six guests and a guide were on the truck on the day of the incident.

“This is a devastating incident for everyone involved and we are doing our best to support the family and all affected,” Tarryn Gibson, the safari company’s head of communications told the AP.

Wilderness Safaris and the victim’s family confirmed that the victim was Gail Mattson, 79, from Hopkins, Minnesota, according to KARE.

“Sadly she lost her life in a tragic accident while on her dream adventure,” Mattson’s daughter, Rona Wells wrote on Facebook, according to the news outlet. “I hope these pictures bring some happiness to those that loved her. RIP Mom. We love you and will miss you.”

Wilderness Safaris said they are cooperating with national authorities regarding the incident, according to a statement obtained by CBS News.

“Our guides are extremely well trained, but sadly the terrain and vegetation was such that the route became blocked,” Wilderness said, explaining that the ranger “could not move the vehicle out of harm’s way quickly enough.”

Officials said her remains will returned to the U.S. over the next few days, KARE reported.

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