An elephant trampled and killed a British man on his honeymoon in Kenya, officials said Monday. Patrick Smith, 34, was killed in front of...
NAIROBI, Kenya — An elephant trampled and killed a British man on his honeymoon in Kenya, officials said Monday.
Patrick Smith, 34, was killed in front of his wife, Julie, in the Masai Mara National Reserve on Sunday, officials said. His wife managed to leap out of the way.
“He was trampled by an elephant while on a nature trail with his wife,” said Connie Maina, spokeswoman for the Kenya Wildlife Service. “This is a terrible accident.”
The couple had been married for just a week, Maina added.
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They had arrived in Kenya for their honeymoon and were staying at the luxury Richard’s Camp lodge in the game reserve. The camp is in the Masai Mara conservation area, about 100 miles southwest of the capital, Nairobi.
The couple set out for their nature walk Sunday morning and were with a Masai guide just 330 yards outside the camp when the elephant attacked, Maina said.
“We think the elephant must have been at very close proximity to the couple and was surprised,” she said. “They don’t normally do this kind of thing. It is terrible. The wife saw what happened. I am told the wife is OK but is shaken up.”
Jake Grieves-Cook, chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board, said the elephant knocked over their guide but the wife escaped injury.
“No one knows what startled the elephants, but the guide was doing everything right. They were downwind and thought they were a safe distance. Elephants have very poor eyesight, so this was not an attack,” he said. “It was a tragic accident.”
Tourist officials said the tented camp, in the northwestern corner of the Masai Mara, would be closed for several days because of the accident.
Julie Smith and her husband’s body were flown back to Nairobi. She was expected to leave for Britain later Monday.
According to Kenya’s Wildlife Service, the last tourist killed by an elephant in Kenya was in 2000.