Woman Dies After Elephant Charges Safari Vehicle in Zambia

A once-in-a-lifetime trip turned to tragedy when a woman was killed during an elephant charge on an open safari vehicle in Zambia this past weekend.

A group of six tourists from the Lufupa Camp were on a guided morning Wilderness Safaris tour at the Kafue National Park in Zambia on March 30 when a bull elephant suddenly began chasing their vehicle.

The elephant followed the safari vehicle for a while before it “unexpectedly charged” at the truck, tipping it on its side.

One woman, an American tourist, was killed. She was 80.

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Another tourist suffered an injury and was rushed to a private medical facility.

Four other tourists received treatments for minor injuries sustained during the attack.

Terrifying footage from the incident shows the animal chasing and then charging at the safari vehicle after it has stopped on its route, as the tour guide shouts, “Hey! Hey! Hey!” at the elephant.

Tourists aboard the vehicle can also be heard screaming during the sudden charge.

The vehicle had stopped due to a road obstruction.

“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,” Keith Vincent, CEO of Wilderness Safaris, said in a statement.

Why Do Elephants Charge?

Elephants are naturally peaceful animals. However, they will aggressively charge in some instances.

According to Wild Survivors, elephants will only charge when they feel threatened.

Adult male elephants, known as bull elephants, will also charge as a “display of strength.”

Bull elephants can grow up to 13-feet tall and weigh up to 13,300 pounds.

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