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American woman killed by elephant in Zambia, the second such attack this year

Minnesota tourist is killed on a African safari after deadly elephant attack
Minnesota tourist is killed on a African safari after deadly elephant attack 01:56

A New Mexico woman visiting Zambia was trampled and killed by an elephant on Wednesday, local officials said. It marked the second such attack in the country this year.

Officials said Friday that 64-year-old Juliana Gle Tourneau was killed when an elephant that was part of a herd the tourists were watching attacked their vehicle in the Zambian city of Livingstone. Tourneau was thrown from the vehicle and trampled by the elephant.

Tourneau was part of a group that had stopped near the Maramba Cultural Bridge due to the traffic caused by the elephant herd near the bridge, officials added.

"Juliana Gle Tourneau, 64, of New Mexico, United States of America, died on Wednesday around 17.50 after being knocked from a parked vehicle which had stopped due to traffic caused by elephants around the Maramba Cultural Bridge," Southern Province Police Commissioner Auxensio Daka told the Zambian national broadcaster, ZNBC.

It is the second such attack this year after another American tourist was killed in March this year during a game drive in Zambia's Kafue National Park. In that incident, an elephant charged a truck, flipped it over, killed the tourist, and injured five others.

Family members confirmed that Gail Mattson, a 79-year-old Minnesotan, was killed in the attack. In a post on Facebook, Rona Wells said her mother died in a "tragic accident while on her dream adventure."

The attack was captured in a harrowing cellphone video. The clip, shot by tourists, begins inside an open safari vehicle during the game drive.

In the distance, a large bull elephant can be seen coming toward the vehicle. The vehicle's occupants cannot be seen in the video clip, but someone is heard, saying "Oh my goodness," before a man says, "It's coming fast."

The vehicle stops and then another voice, presumably the game ranger, tries to ward off the elephant verbally as the large pachyderm hooks its tusks onto the vehicle and rolls it several times.

Zambian authorities have called on tourists to exercise extreme caution while observing wildlife around the country.

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