April 24, 2024

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A Minnesotan was killed on safari in Zambia after an elephant attacked a vehicle

A Minnesotan was killed on safari in Zambia after an elephant attacked a vehicle

A Minnesotan was killed on safari in Zambia after an elephant attacked a vehicle

5. Eyewitness News reporter Ben Henry has confirmed with family members that a Minnesota woman, Gail Mattson, 79, was killed while on safari in Zambia.

Matson was vacationing in Zambia when, over the weekend, safari officials said an elephant attacked tourists on a “drive” through Kafue National Park.

Mattson's family says her photo holding the flower was taken on the day she was killed, adding that she was “living life” that day.

The family told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the US Embassy contacted them about Mattson's death. Friends also said Mattson was kind, active in her community and very adventurous.

The video shows the moment the elephant attacked the truck in which a group of tourists was traveling.

An American tourist was tragically killed by a bull elephant while on a game drive, Wilderness Safaris said. They say the elephant was aggressive and lunged unexpectedly, adding that the guide was unable to get out of harm's way fast enough.

Family members say Mattson was killed at the scene.

The safari company added that another injured guest was taken to a “private medical facility,” while four others were treated for minor injuries.

Mattson divided his time between living in Minnesota and Arizona. Friends from Arizona told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Mattson was an adventurous friend who will be missed.

“She told us this safari would be her last big adventure,” John Longbaoth said. “Because her birthday is in the summer – I think she was going to be eighty, and I felt like she was going to start slowing down. To be honest, I don't know if she was going to slow down or not. But at least she wouldn't be traveling as far, probably.”

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