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Elephants kills Briton in Nkhotakota

A 64-year-old European man has died of injuries sustained during an encounter with Elephants Tuesday evening near Bua River Lodge, a tourism site, inside Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Police and Reserve Managers, African Parks, have confirmed.

The deceased has been identified as Steve Winddows, a British national, who was lodging at Bua River Lodge.

In an interview with Zodiak online Nkhotakota Police Station Spokesperson Sergeant Paul Malimwe said the incident occurred at around 1800 hours when Steve, in the company of friends set out for a walk within the Reserve without the escort of game rangers.

According to Sergeant Malimwe, the group encountered a herd of elephants and decided to take pictures. In the process, the elephant charged and one pounced on Winddows.

Said Malimwe, “…due to the impact, Widdows sustained head injuries and deep cut wounds.”

He was rushed to Nkhotakota District Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Postmortem conducted at the hospital revealed death was due to loss of blood secondary to head injuries.

In a statement, African Parks Park Manager for Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve Samuel Kamoto also confirmed the development describing it as tragic.

Reads part of the statement; “It is with sadness that we confirm an incident that occurred in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in which a guest staying at Bua River Lodge passed away from injuries resulting from an encounter with an elephant in the reserve.”

According to Kamoto, the British national was on a tour to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve with friends.

“…He was injured after an elephant charged him and three other people including another guest and two Bua River Lodge staff members while they were walking in the reserve.”

Kamoto said immediately after the incident, Bua River Lodge alerted Park Management who immediately dispatched a team to assist on the ground before Winddows was directly transferred to the hospital, where he “tragically passed away”.

He said the next of kin have been informed and African Parks and Bua River Lodge are coordinating with local authorities to investigate the incident.

Winddows is the second Briton to die on Malawi soil in a similar situation. In May 2019 a British soldier Mathew Talbot, 22, of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, was killed when an elephant charged him during a counter-poaching patrol at Liwonde National Park.

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