A dean at the University of California San Diego was found dead in Tanzania after he was trampled by a charging elephant.
58-year-old Dr. Thomas McAfee was on a luxury safari at Tarangire National Park with two unidentified companions when they encountered a herd of about 50 elephants. (Via KCBS)
“He fell trying to run away and was crushed by the animals.” (Via Fox News)
Local police told Tanzanian newspaper The Citizen McAfee died while receiving treatment at a nearby dispensary. His body will remain in Tanzania until his family receives a death certificate.
According to police, it isn’t clear if McAfee and his companions were on a guided tour or out on their own — but visitors are supposed to be accompanied by armed rangers at all times during walking safaris. (Via KGTV)
McAfee was reportedly in Tanzania on a celebratory vacation before starting his new job as chief executive of the Keck Medicine of USC Medical Foundation.
“The foundation expressed its sadness saying, ‘Our organization was looking forward to welcoming Tom into the Trojan family, and our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this time.” (Via KABC)
Elephants have been known to attack humans without provocation at times — but they are usually responding to something they perceive as a threat to themselves or their families. (Via YouTube / findeezz)
The Herald Sun reports up to 500 people are trampled and killed by elephants every year in Africa and Asia.
Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania and is home to over 550 species including the giraffe and zebra.