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Dutch tourist killed by wild elephant in Kaziranga


Guwahati : A Dutch tourist was trampled to death by a wild Asiatic elephant Tuesday at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam while eight other foreigners had a miraculous escape.

A park official said a group of nine foreign tourists entered the 430 sq km park early Tuesday for bird watching and viewing primates when a lone rogue elephant charged at the visitors. The others escaped but 60-year-old Robert William was killed.

“While eight of them managed to run to safety, a 60-year-old tourist from Holland was trampled by the elephant and later it dragged the body inside the forest,” park warden S.N. Buragohain told IANS over the phone.

The tourists were accompanied by an armed forest ranger but he failed to react as the elephant charge took the group by surprise.

“We are yet to go near the body as the elephant is still running amok,” the warden said. “The incident is unfortunate, and we are trying to chase the elephant to retrieve the body.”

Kaziranga, 220 km east of Assam’s main city Guwahati, is home to the world’s largest concentration of one-horned rhinoceros. As per 2006 census figures, it is home to 1,855 of the world’s estimated 2,700 rhinos.

In 1999, an American tourist was trampled at Kaziranga by a tamed elephant inside the park while she was on an elephant safari.