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Last Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Elephant tramples Briton to death
African elephant
The man was trampled to death by an elephant in the Masai Mara
A British tourist has been killed by an elephant while on honeymoon in Kenya.

Patrick Smith, 34, from London, was trampled to death in the Masai Mara game reserve on Sunday while on a nature trail with his wife Julie.

It is understood the couple, both employed by the global media group Reuters, had been married for just one week before Mr Smith's death.

Mrs Smith was not injured in the stampede but is "shaken up", according to reports.

The pair were said to have been on an early morning walking safari with a guard when the small group of elephants they were observing was startled.

'Tragic'

Kenya Wildlife Service spokeswoman Connie Maina said efforts were being made to track the elephant.

"It is very unusual... but accidents can happen," she said.

We will try to monitor to see if we can get any leads, if it is a rogue elephant it may do this again
Connie Maina,
Kenya Wildlife Service

"They say it was one elephant, I'm trying to find out whether it was a lone bull.

"We will try to monitor to see if we can get any leads, if it is a rogue elephant it may do this again - but we don't have any information on whether it is or not," she said.

Ms Maina added the couple had been a short distance from the upmarket encampment, Richard's Camp, where they were reported to be staying.

A spokeswoman at the British High Commission in the Kenyan capital Nairobi said the man's next of kin had been informed.

A Reuters spokesman said: "Clearly it is a very tragic situation, we are sending our condolences to the family, we are trying to help them practically as best we can."

Wild animals

The BBC's Adam Mynott, in Kenya, said human beings were occasionally killed by elephants in the country.

But this normally happened in areas where humans had encroached onto land used by the elephants.

In this case it appeared safety precautions had been followed to the letter but that this was a "tragic accident", our correspondent said.

"People who go on safari are warned very carefully about the risks that wild animals pose to them," he added.

He said it was very uncommon for elephants to kill humans in wildlife reserves.

Tourists on game drives through wildlife reserves are told to stay in their cars because of the threat from wild animals.

And where tourists are taken on walks through the bush, they are accompanied by rangers armed with rifles.

In 2000, another Briton was trampled to death by an elephant in the Masai Mara reserve, when he ventured out of a secure compound to take a photograph of it.




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What is thought to have happened on the reserve



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