Tourist Trampled to Death

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#1 Aug 16th, 2009, 16:43
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#1
Reported in The Hindu, Saturday 15 August 2009:
Quote:
Del Yotel Annie (66), a retired teacher, was trampled to death when she was photographing a herd of wild elephants. Her son, Fredrick Jean Lue, was injured, and admitted to the Government Hospital in Gudalur.

... Full Article
Can't find the link just now, but I'm sure that another article mentioned that the driver and guide escaped on account of being able to run faster than the 66-year-old .

Again from The Hindu, Sunday 16 August 2009:
Quote:
The resort has been closed

Three persons have been arrested in connection with the death of a French tourist at Bokkapuram near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve near here on Friday. Del Yotel Annie was trampled to death while photographing a herd of wild elephants. Her son Fredrick Jean Lue (39) was injured.

...Full Article
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#2 Aug 16th, 2009, 17:09
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#2
Read this in the Hindu today. Sad.

Safety is not a high priority thing in India
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#3 Aug 16th, 2009, 17:18
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#3
Always a risk when in proximity to wild elephants I should think....

Very sad for the lady's family.
#4 Aug 16th, 2009, 17:22
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post Safety is not a high priority thing in India
It appears that the driver and guide are being prosecuted because of the area of the forest they were in, not for any safety regulations that were broken. If Nick's recollection is correct, they were on foot when they were attacked.

Not that there is a totally safe way of filming a herd of wild elephants on foot, tourists who want to do that do have to take some responsibility too, so I'm not suggesting the driver and guide should be prosecuted.
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#5 Aug 16th, 2009, 18:03
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#5
There are two reasons for the restrictions; protecting the animals and safety for the people.

The captain has it: "Safety is not a high priority thing in India."



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#6 Aug 16th, 2009, 19:09
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#6
It takes two to tango. There will always be enterprising Indians & baksheesh laden tourists. Whispers abound in or near these parks about extra curricular 'cross-country' excursions.
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#7 Aug 16th, 2009, 22:47
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#7
Pretty sad,

The guide and the driver should be prosecuted, right....But a life is lost.

There are also reports that the camera flash really irked the elephant as it had a baby elephant nearby. A new mother elephant is always jumpy and dangerous. A flash light has ruined her and her family.

May her soul rest in peace
#8 Aug 16th, 2009, 23:02
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#8
how very, very awful.
#9 Aug 17th, 2009, 02:19
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#9
In February this year on NH 212 while passing through Muthanga, we witnessed people who were taking pictures of wild elephants being chased back to their cars by the elephants. It was clearly a dicy and dangerous situation.
#10 Aug 17th, 2009, 02:48
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#10
It suggests that, at least some, "guides" and drivers are not properly qualified. I don't suppose that should surprise any of us, but it is still scary.
#11 Aug 17th, 2009, 03:42
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#11
That's some sad stuff. When I saw Nick's headline - I thought it was going to be a joke . . . as in, Tourists Trampled To Death - By Touts.

There's lots of guides who don't know what they're doing.

And lots of tourists who lack common sense or insight.

I have to admit - my 2nd time in India - I was one of them. I was in the Nilgiri Hills and roaming around the jungle with a friend who was a long-time India-wallah and I trusted his judgement. We actually came upon a herd of wild elephants and were less than 25 feet away and heading closer - when a bunch of tribal folks came crashing through the thicket making a boatload of noise which caused the elephants to turn around and bolt from the area. Only later after some translating - did I catch on that they had come specifically to save our stupid necks.
#12 Aug 17th, 2009, 04:10
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#12

Unhappy

10 year back while traveling between saharanpur to dehradun on 30 dec night there was road block at mohand area so taxi driver took alternative route through herbetpur hill jungles.midway in rajaji national park there were tw or three cars parked with engine off, mid road, when we reached there before our driver could honk
people on road hushed him quite. then in moon light i saw around 10 or more elephants blocking the small road.Actualy some car had honked the baby elephant of group going down hill for water
angry heard members just stood on link road for good two hours before moving down the hill.only then small convey of 4 cars was able to move further.we reache dehradun very late at 2.30 am.Total strength of Heard we came to know in morning was 40 elephants.
#13 Aug 17th, 2009, 05:35
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#13
You encroach their homeland, threaten their world. Sheesh !!!
#14 Aug 17th, 2009, 08:10
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#14
Sad story indeed!

Not certain about how much blame to put on the the "two persons accompanying" the tourists. Wild elephants are indeed quite wild and getting trampled is a serious risk. Unless the tourists were completely uninformed, it seems likely that they contributed to the tragedy by hanging around to take pictures (per the original story).

People are often excited with the prospect of coming across wild animals and sense of danger. That's why a lot of them visit national parks and trek into the forest. Unfortunately, sometime those risks come true, and that's sad. But, I wouldn't necessarily blame it on the helpers, unless they misled about the danger.

Indeed safety isn't exactly high on the Indian methods and priorities, but I would not count this as an example. Most national parks in the Northern US or Western Canada - you have risk of bear encounters. Even the most safe practices can not eliminate the risks. People visiting national parks world over need to take some responsibility for their own safety or accept the consequences. [I say that as someone who does take those risks and accept the consequences - though I hope I do not really have to face them.]
#15 Aug 17th, 2009, 08:55
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#15
it's quite common to be approached by touts in taxis promising animal sightings. It has happened to me twice in Mudu-Bandipur area. I'd like to see the touts that offer this kind of pseudo-safari get their @$$es kicked.

I was charged by a bull elephant in Nagarhole. I wasn't in the least frightened, because I was in a jeep. We just sped away, and withing seconds, the beast stopped his charge.
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