SA tourist trampled to death by elephant in Zimbabwe
A South African tourist was trampled to death by an elephant in front of his son at a wildlife park in Zimbabwe.
The incident happened on Wednesday in Mana Pools National Park along the Zambezi River.
Michael Bernard Walsh, 71, a veterinarian from Cape Town, was charged at by the female elephant.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said the tuskless female elephant charged at the tourist and his 41-year-old son as they took a morning walk in the park.
“It is with great sadness that a 71-year-old South African vet was trampled to death by an elephant in Mana Pools in full view of his 41-year-old son. He has been visiting the park since 1986,” said Farawo.
“The father and son had left their car about 40m from the scene of the incident. Because of age, unfortunately, the man couldn’t escape to the vehicle. His son watched as the elephant killed his father.”
Zimbabwe has seen an increase in human-wildlife conflict, with more than 40 people killed by wild animals since January, while several others were injured. Competition for limited resources leads to animals straying closer to human communities in search of food and water. Recently an anti-poaching unit senior officer was trampled to death by an elephant in Victoria Falls.
The country has the second-largest number of elephants in the world. The 100,000-strong population is controlled through culling, hunting and conversation efforts by Zimparks. Every year since 1992, Zimbabwe sells permits to hunt 500 elephants to generate public revenue.