Horrifying moment American tourist dies when a five ton bull elephant chases down a safari truck for half a mile then charges straight at it when the driver suddenly stops

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  • Video captured the shocking moment a huge elephant attacked a safari truck 

By Jamie Pyatt and James Reynolds

Published: 08:26 EDT, 3 April 2024 | Updated: 08:39 EDT, 3 April 2024

This is the horrifying moment a crazed bull elephant attacked tourists on safari in Zambia, leaving an American woman dead, after chasing a safari truck for more than half a mile through a national park.

Six tourists were on a game drive in the Kafue National Park when the angry fully-grown male ran flat out to catch up with the vehicle - before the driver abruptly stopped.

Video shows how a tourist says 'oh my goodness' as the elephant keeps pace with the car, as another says 'oh oh' and a third adds 'it's coming fast' in the last desperate moments before collision.

The game ranger suddenly stops the vehicle before the elephant swings right and attacks the tourist truck at right angles.

The driver calls out 'hey hey hey hey hey' loudly when he realises it is not a mock charge and the five ton elephant standing 10 foot tall is intent on a deadly attack.

The three-foot tusks hook under the bodywork of the safari truck as the tourist panic and flips it up onto its side as the camera footage records screams and then it goes blank.

One international client killed by elephant in Kafue National Park from lufupa Lodge during Safari. Two injured and being evacuated to Lusaka. Full details being awaited from the operator through the Senior Warden Kafue Region. Very unfortunate indeed. pic.twitter.com/4ntbyhec1G

— Gina (@ginnydmm) April 2, 2024

Video captured the shocking moment the elephant attacked the American tourist in Zambia

The elephant appears fixated on the terrified tourists, who are just a few feet away from the beast and hanging onto their seats.

The elephant is seen to lift and flip the safari truck on its side before the video cuts out.

How the American tourist, whose identity has not been revealed, died has not been confirmed. 

Safari forums are alive with comments and say they cannot understand why the vehicle stopped although one commentator suggests that perhaps the driver simply ran out of road.

Another commentator Bush Bandit says: 'When you are being chased by a 5 ton elephant and you are in a safari truck with big bull bars trust me you simply never run out of road'

The national park has not commented on the incident. 

It is believed all the guests on the truck were Americans staying at the Lufupa River Camp in the Kafue National Park which is the oldest and second largest safari park in the world.

The tented camp charges £350 per person per night.

Wilderness Chief Executive Officer Keith Vincent confirmed that one American guest aged 80 was killed and another was seriously injured and four other tourists had minor injuries.

The incident happened on Saturday when an aggressive bull elephant charged.

Mr Vincent said the seriously injured guest was flown to a private medical facility in South Africa and the four others were treated at a clinic and trauma counselling provided.

He said: 'At around 09h30 on Saturday the six guests were on the game drive when the vehicle was unexpectedly charged by the bull elephant.

Our guides are all extremely well trained and experienced but sadly the terrain and vegetation was such that the guide's route became blocked.

'He could not move the vehicle out of harm's way quickly enough' adding that the Kafue National Park management immediately gave assistance'.

He said they dispatched a helicopter to the scene and given the nature of the incident, the Police, the Department of National Parks & Wildlife, and other authorities are involved in investigating the matter.

The elephant was able to keep up with the truck before lunging into it

The bull elephant is seen charging at the safari truck before knocking it over

Mr Vincent added: 'This is an extremely tragic event and we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died.

'We are also, naturally supporting those guests and the guide involved in this distressing incident. The deceased will be repatriated to the USA'

Wilderness is a leading conservation and hospitality company that welcomes guests to many African counties to help conserve iconic wilderness areas.

It currently helps conserve six million acres of land over 8 African countries.

The Kafue National Park is the size of Wales set in 22,000 sq km's and is home to African Big 5 of lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros.

Elephants kill an estimated 500 people a year in Africa.

In March, a 36-year-old guide at Gondwana Private Game Reserve in South Africa was also killed by an elephant.

Daniel Kandela died after encountering the last elephant in the herd, separated from its group.

A statement issued at the time read: "His untimely passing leaves a void within the Gondwana family, as David was not only a colleague but also a source of warmth and expertise among his peers. 

'Our hearts and thoughts remain with David’s family and friends during this immensely difficult time. Gondwana pledges to support all those affected by this tragic incident.'

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