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Elephant sneaks up and tramples tourist taking bird photo

September 25, 2013 DESTINATION, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A British birdwatcher in India has been trampled to death by a rogue elephant as he was engrossed in taking photographs of birds, according to reports.

The tourist, identified as Colin Manvell, 68, from southern England, had ventured on foot into a southern Indian nature reserve,  police said.

News agency AFP quoted a forest warden named Gnanadoss saying that the victim apparently “did not notice the elephant creep up on him until it was too late”. articleBanner

“It swiped him with its trunk and then trampled him on the ground,” Gnanadoss (who uses only one name) stated.

The attack happened just 100 metres or so from where a woman was killed by elephants in 2009.

Manvell was attacked in the Masinagudi forest of Tamil Nadu state. The state’s forest authorities have warned tourists to stay away from densely wooded areas, where tigers and elephants live.

A forest warden said that tourists frequently ignored the warnings. The BBC reported that Manvell and two guides had illegally entered a sectioned-off area. There was some confusion about whether he was photographing birds or elephants.

India is home to some 25,000 elephants but their numbers are falling as endlessly growing human numbers destroy their natural habitats. Poaching is another problem.

Wild animals sometimes attack humans over encroachment into their territory, though other factors play a part.

Last year, a group of tourists visiting a South African animal sanctuary were horrified to see their American lecturer seized and hauled away by two enraged chimpanzees.

The lecturer was in the middle of discussing chimpanzee behaviour when two chimpanzees sneaked up, grabbed his feet and pulled him under the perimeter fence and into the enclosure. The animals then made off with him, dragging him away.

The two apes dragged the American for nearly a kilometre and severely mauled him.

Written by : Peter Needham

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