American grandmother shares ominous words before she’s killed by an elephant on African safari

The American woman killed by an elephant while she was on a safari in Zambia had ominously called the trip her “last big adventure,”

Gail Mattson, 79, was traveling with five other tourists in the Kafue National Park last weekend when an elephant charged them, according to KSTP which reported that Mattson’s family confirmed the tragic news.

The family said Mattson was “living life” that day and shared pictures of the woman who was described as ” kind, active in her community and very adventurous.”

“’Wilderness,’ the safari company, said an American tourist was tragically killed by a bull elephant while on a game drive. They say the elephant was aggressive and charged unexpectedly, adding that the guide couldn’t get out of harm’s way fast enough,” KSTP reported.

One other passenger was seriously injured in the incident and four others were treated for minor injuries.

“She had told us that this safari was going to be her last big adventure,” her friend John Longabauth told the outlet. “Because her birthday is in the summer — I think she was going to be 80, and she felt like she would start slowing down. To be honest, I don’t know if she’d slow down or not. But at least you wouldn’t be traveling as far, probably.”

Safari guide and photographer Marlon du Toit told NBC News it’s “extremely rare to see an elephant that irate, react so aggressively.”

Mattson’s daughter Rona Wells shared photos and a message on Facebook.

“We would like to share some amazing pictures of our wonderful Mom’s trip to South Africa with her friends and family,” she wrote. “Sadly she lost her life in a tragic accident while on her dream adventure. I hope these pictures bring some happiness to those that loved her. RIP Mom. We love you and will miss you.”

Frieda Powers


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