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Elephants Trample Tourist to Death: 'He Didn't Heed Warnings'

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A tourist from Spain died Sunday in South Africa's Pilanesberg National Park when he was trampled by elephants after he got too close to a herd of the animals with young, local police said Tuesday.

The man was driving with three other people in his own car through the park. When he noticed a small herd of elephants, he decided to take a photo of them. For a better effect, he approached the elephants, among which were three small individuals. After that, the elephants immediately trampled the man. The forty-year-old Spanish tourist did not survive.

“Unfortunately, he did not heed the warnings of his fellow passengers and passengers in two other vehicles nearby,” the North West Province Parks and Tourism Board said in a statement on Tuesday.

The other passengers in the car, all from Johannesburg, were not injured, said police, who have launched an investigation into the accident.

Pilanesberg National Park is located approximately 200 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg in north-eastern South Africa.

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It's better not to get close to elephants

Trying to protect their young is normal elephant behavior, and many tourists are unaware of how dangerous these animals can be. Keeping your distance from elephants is the best way to ensure your safety.

Last year, in neighboring Zimbabwe, 50 people died and 85 were injured in attacks by wild animals, mostly elephants. This year, elephants have killed at least two tourists from the United States in Zambia. Tourists are most often killed by elephants in Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Zambia. In the latter country, elephants kill 12 people each year.

Main image source: Shutterstock (illustration photo)

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