A 71-year old South African tourist was on Wednesday trampled to death by an elephant “in full view” of his son at Zimbabwe´s Mana Pools National Park.
Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its splendid setting along the Zambezi River and surrounding flood plain teeming with elephants and other wildlife.
The victim, Michael Bernard Walsh, a veterinarian from Cape Town, was a “loyal tourist” who had been visiting Mana Pools “almost every year” for the past 35 years, according to Tinashe Farawo, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks).
Farawo said the father and son duo had left their car about 40 meters (44 yards) from the scene of the incident. He said:
It is with great sadness that a 71-year-old South African veterinary doctor 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. The duo was on a morning walk in the park.
Last week an anti-poaching coordinator with a conservation group was trampled to death by an elephant in Victoria Falls in western Zimbabwe.
Clever Kapandura, an operations coordinator for the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, a non-governmental organization, was part of a team of scouts deployed to investigate reports of a possible poaching incident.
An elephant bull reportedly charged from about 120 meters (130 yards) away and seized the man and killed him.
Zimbabwe’s national parks and environmental groups are reporting increasing cases of conflict between humans and wildlife in recent years.
More than 40 people have died from such conflicts in parks and other rural areas in Zimbabwe so far this year, said Farawo.