A wild elephant killed a 55-year-old Dutch national in Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Assam on Tuesday. The victim, Robert William Goldbrach, was part of an eight-member tourist group from the Netherlands, UK and Australia that was on a bird watching trip.
KNP officials said the group had hit the bird-watching trail around 9.30 am after seeking requisite permission.
“This is a pretty safe trail, but they ran straight into a male rouge elephant,” said a park official. “The others managed to flee to safety but Goldbrach was unlucky.”
Sub-divisional police officer Navin Singh told Hindustan Times from Bokakhat — KNP’s administrative office is located in this central Assam town, about 200 km from Guwahati — that Goldbrach’s body was “badly smashed” by the jumbo.Goldbrach is the second foreign tourist in 10 years to die of unnatural causes in Kaziranga. In November 1999, an American tourist died when a wild elephant charged the one she was on and trampled her after she fell.
Kaziranga’s tame elephants, too, had turned killers during the Park’s centenary celebrations in 2005. That year, two elephants trampled a mahout each.
Kaziranga has a sizeable number of Asiatic elephants, the highest concentration of Royal Bengal tigers anywhere in the country and over 55 per cent of the world’s one-horned rhinos.