European tourists trampled to death by elephant in Zambia

- By Kalendra Withana

Two tourists of European origin have been trampled to death by an elephant at Zambia’s Maramba River Lodge, located in the country’s southwestern town of Livingstone.

According to police, the two holidaymakers triggered the elephant as a result of being too close to it whilst on a safari.

Police spokesman, Danny Mwale, has confirmed that a 57 year-old Belgian woman and a 64 year-old Dutch man were killed as they got close to the elephant, desiring to take pictures of the animal.

ZNBC news has reported that the elephant initially charged at the Belgian woman and the Dutch man was trampled as a result of his efforts to try and rescue her.

Police sources have also confirmed that the two were found lying dead on the ground, with a multiplicity of severe injuries on their bodies. They were then taken to a mortuary in Zambia, where their bodies now await post-mortem.

Dutch and Belgian media have identified the deceased pair as Sabine Goossens and Wim Van Griensven. Goossens is reported to have been living in Africa for a period of 10 years and Mr Griensven is believed to have been from the city of Roermond in the Netherlands.

Statements from the family members of the deceased have denied the verdict that the two tourists died as a result of being too close to the elephant. Relatives instead say that the two were simply observing the elephants from a distance, and suddenly one of the animals abruptly ran out of the herd and towards their direction.

African media have displayed warnings against the elephants in Livingstone. It has previously been reported that another elephant attack took place in the area, which saw a police officer being trampled on his way to work.

Sources – Sky News, Lusaka Times, Express

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