64-Year-Old US Tourist Killed By Elephant In Latest Attack


On June 19, an American tourist was trampled by an elephant while on vacation in Zambia, making her the second American murdered by an elephant this year. In a heartbreaking event that highlighted the perils of wildlife tourism, an elephant killed Juliana Gle Tourneau when she was in a car observing the herd. Her group was parked close to Livingston’s Maramba Cultural Bridge due to traffic resulting from the elephant herd. Because of this, the New Mexico visitor became a sitting prey for the elephant, which managed to pick her out.

The Elephant’s Charge Was Unanticipated

Another American visitor perished earlier this year in Zambia’s Kafue National Park while going on a wildlife drive. An elephant charged Gail Mattson’s car, crushing the 79-year-old and wounding four people. According to ABC, the executive director of safari operator Wilderness, Keith Vincent, the elephant’s charge was unanticipated, and the guide had no chance to leave by car. The two fatalities followed the 2023 elephant attacks that claimed 60 lives in Zimbabwe, a neighboring country. Zimbabwe’s park authorities claim that as a result of elephants’ need to alter their migratory routes throughout Southern Africa due to climate change, attacks on them have increased.

The Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority’s (Zimparks) spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo, stated to The Guardian in 2023 that “Elephants know no boundaries.” They are migrating to get food and water.” Farawo stated that he is unable to estimate the number of elephants that have relocated south in the recent times, but the region’s wildlife habitats are severely congested and overcrowded. Elephants are now breaking into human areas looking out for food & water due to congestion. More elephants are passing away in the greater region than ever before, even though the number of elephants in Zimbabwe is growing. Experts believe that elevated poaching and heat stress are to blame for this.

Significant Impact Of Elephants On the Ecosystem 

Based on a survey, the “carcass (mortality) ratio” for the 228,000 elephants in Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in 2023 was found to be 10.5%. Half of all savanna elephants worldwide live in these five countries, and the deaths of these animals have severely strained conservation efforts. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) asserts that elephants are worth studying because of their significant impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

Elephants build boreholes that serve as water sources at the time of dry spells and assist in keeping some plants from overcrowding grasslands. Elephants are not the only savanna animals that will suffer from climate change; many others will also. Zimbabwe has also been pushing for a brief relaxation of the prohibition on the illegal traffic in elephant ivory, arguing that the proceeds may fund conservation initiatives in the future.

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