Wednesday, September 4, 2013

American tourist killed by raging elephant in Tarangire

By Joseph Lyimo

Babati. An American tourist has been trampled to death by an elephant in Tarangire National Park.

Thomas Vardon Macfee, 58, was in the company of two compatriots when the incident took place on Tuesday, acting Manyara Regional Police Commander Mussa Marambo said yesterday.

He said the three tourists were viewing game on foot when they stumbled upon a herd of about 50 elephants.

“Sensing danger, the tourists took to their heels, but unfortunately Macfee fell down and one of the elephants trampled on him. He died while receiving treatment at a nearby dispensary,” Mr Marambo said.

Mcfee’s body was taken to the Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) as arrangements were being made to ferry it home.

It could not be immediately established whether the Americans were on a guided walking safari in the expansive national park, which is famous for its huge elephant herds and tree-climbing lions.

Visitors are supposed to be accompanied by armed rangers during walking safaris.

Reports said Macfee arrived in Tarangire last Thursday and checked in at Tarangire River Camp Lodge, which accommodates many foreign visitors.

Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) officials could not be reached for comment.

Tarangire, the sixth largest national park in the country, has one of the world’s highest concentrations of elephants. Large herds of the animals can be seen at water points during the long dry season. In another incident, the body of a fisherman, Daniel Nyange, 60, was found on the roadside in Simanjro District.

Police said the body had no visible injuries, adding that Nyange was last seen alive fishing on the Nyumba ya Mungu Dam, which straddles Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions.

The body was taken by relatives to Mawenzi Regional Hospital in Moshi for a post-mortem examination.