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Veterinarian,71, trampled to death by elephant during tour with son,41, at national park

In Summary

  • Michael Walsh, 71, a tourist at Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe was trampled to death by an elephant.
  • The park’s management allows tourists to take unguided tours.

An elephant in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe has trampled to death a 71-year-old South African tourist in front of his son.

Michael Bernard Walsh was accompanied by his 41-year-old son on an unguided tour on Wednesday morning.

A tuskless female elephant charged at them but only his son managed to get back to their car in time.

They had left their car about 40 meters from the scene.

Tinashe Farawo, spokesman of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said, “Because of age, unfortunately, the old man couldn’t escape to the vehicle. His son watched as the elephant killed his father.”

He further revealed that Michael, a veterinarian from Cape Town, had been a regular visitor at the park since 1986.

Increasing Deaths

However, this is not an isolated case as earlier on October 8 a member of an anti-poaching unit was trampled to death at Victoria Falls.

Clever Kapandura was part of a team of scouts deployed to investigate reports of a possible poaching occurrence, when he was attacked by a charging bull elephant.

Clever Kapandura, who met his death by an elephant. PHOTO/COURTESY

“We are extremely concerned because two people have been killed in one week alone,” said Farawo.

Deaths arising from conflicts between human beings and wildlife have been on the rise in Zimbabwe. Wildlife officers attribute this to the increasing population of elephants. As at now, the country has about 85,000 of them, one of the highest figures globally.

Mana Pools Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its abundance of wildlife.

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