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Honeymoon ends in tragedy as elephant strikes

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Anonymous
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Honeymoon ends in tragedy as elephant strikes

Nairobi - An elephant trampled on and killed a British honeymooner during a guided nature walk with his wife in Kenya's famed Maasai Mara National Reserve, officials said on Monday.

Newlywed Patrick Smith, 34, was killed on Sunday near the exclusive safari camp where he and his wife were staying in the wildlife-rich park, about 220km south-west of Nairobi, they said.

The pair were walking with an experienced Maasai guide when a group of elephants they spotted downwind were spooked, according to the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

The elephants "showed no signs of aggressive behaviour but were apparently startled by something, causing them suddenly to rush towards the walking party who were caught up their path", said KTB chairperson Jake Grieves-Cook.

"The wife and the guide were unharmed but the husband was attacked by one of the elephants and was killed," he said in a statement.

"This was truly a tragic accident and on behalf of the tourism fraternity in Kenya we wish to express our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the wife and family of the visitor who died in this unprovoked attack," he said.

KWS spokesperson Connie Maina called the incident a tragedy and noted Smith and his wife had been married for only a week.

"They were on their honeymoon," she told reporters. "The man's wife saw everything, she was shaken but not injured."

Maina said the incident occurred in the reserve's Ochooirua Conservancy about 300m outside Richard's Camp, a luxury safari destination in the north-west part of the Maasai Mara, where the couple were staying. - Sapa-AFP

Anonymous
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Wow, how sad Sad

Anonymous
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"katja" wrote:
Thanks, Tabs.

It was a herd that got startled and charged towards the group but he got trampled by a lone bull?
I think I am too tired to understand that...

Also one article says the group remained downwind, the other says the group spotted the ellies downwind.

Journalists are mostly pig-ignorant about the dynamics of elephant herds and most other wildlife facts.... and I don't expect the actual facts will come out until the inquest, which will probably remain mostly unreported except for locally (in Purley where the couple come from) as it will be 'old and forgotten' news by then!

Maybe though, at that time, Lizzie (Kudu) will be able to relate the details that come out at the inquest.

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modsquad
Joined: Feb 17 2006

Thanks, Tabs.

It was a herd that got startled and charged towards the group but he got trampled by a lone bull?
I think I am too tired to understand that...

Also one article says the group remained downwind, the other says the group spotted the ellies downwind.

Anonymous
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"Kudu" wrote:
I have just read in my local paper that the couple mentioned are local to me. It goes into a bit more detail. Wherever they came from I couldn't feel sadder for all involved.

Kudu

Yes - just a couple of miles from you Lizzie, they are from Purley.

Anonymous
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"katja" wrote:
Very tragic.

I would like to know what startled the ellies and if it was a breeding herd or a group of males...
Does anyone know of other articles with more details?

There are a lot of articles (Look at http://www.masaipost.com/ ) which mostly give the same details but I did find one, from the London Times/Sunday Times which says:

They had gone a short distance when the tragedy happened. Remaining downwind, they approached nine elephants. But something startled the herd and the elephants charged towards them.

While Mr Smith was unable to flee the animals, his wife and their guide managed to jump out of the way.

It is believed that Mr Smith was trampled by a lone bull.

Jake Grieves-Cook, chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board, said that the elephants had shown no signs of aggressive behaviour before they charged.

The fact that there may have been 9 ellies indicates that it was a breeding herd?

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modsquad
Joined: Feb 17 2006

Very tragic.

I would like to know what startled the ellies and if it was a breeding herd or a group of males...
Does anyone know of other articles with more details?

Anonymous
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I have just read in my local paper that the couple mentioned are local to me. It goes into a bit more detail.
Wherever they came from I couldn't feel sadder for all involved.

Kudu

Anonymous
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I read about this in the paper - it was so sad. My heart went out to the mans wife and family.

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africlub
Joined: Feb 18 2006

- thats a sad tale- but those things happen world wide- confrontations with animals and man

Anonymous
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How very tragic - it must have been awful, not only for the man who died, but for his poor wife and the guide too.

I would hope though, that this does will not put others off from having the ultimate experience of walking in the bush as it is a very unusual occurance - and these people were the unfortunate victims of 'being in the wrong place at the wrong time'

Sad

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