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Man gets trampled to death by elephants in front of fiancée as disturbing details emerge

Man gets trampled to death by elephants in front of fiancée as disturbing details emerge

Carlos Luna is said to have been trying to take a picture when the incident took place

A tourist visiting South Africa with his fiancée has died after being trampled by elephants during a safari experience.

Carlos Luna, 43, had been visiting the Pilanesberg National Park, around 125 miles north-west of Johannesburg, with his fiancée when the incident took place.

The couple were driving through the reserve with two other women in their own vehicle when they spotted three elephants and two cubs out in the park.

The group spotted three adult elephants and two cubs. (Getty Stock Photo)
The group spotted three adult elephants and two cubs. (Getty Stock Photo)

Hoping to get a better picture of the huge animals, Luna reportedly got out of the car, leaving the other visitors inside the vehicle.

However, when Luna left the safety of the car, at least one of the elephants turned towards him and began to attack.

Pieter Nel, a spokesman for the North West Parks and Tourism Board, told the BBC the matriarch in the group had become 'agitated', prompting her to charge towards Luna.

Unable to escape, he was then trampled on by the rest of the herd. He was rushed to hospital after the incident, but died of his injuries.

Alex Lacadena, a Spanish safari agency boss, told a Spanish newspaper: "The first rule of a safari is not to get out of the vehicle or get up.

"When you're in a 4x4 wild animals don't see people, they see a block and they only react when you do something out of the norm."

The other occupants of the car were unharmed in the attack. An investigation into Luna's death is now underway.

Luna was described as a 'good worker and a nice man'. (Solarpix)
Luna was described as a 'good worker and a nice man'. (Solarpix)

Luna worked as the boss of a cleaning firm and lived in the town of Ejea de los Caballeros, near Zaragoza.

A former colleague of Luna was quoted in a Spanish newspaper in the wake of his death describing him as a 'good worker and a nice man'.

"He liked motorbikes and going out on his mountain bike," the man added.

A Spanish consul in South Africa was said to be heading to Pretoria to help with the repatriation of Luna's body.

In the wake of the incident, officials stressed the importance of visitors following safety precautions when on a safari.

Thami Matshego, chief executive officer of the North West Parks and Tourism Board, told local news outlet Netwerk24: "Tourists are constantly reminded about the importance of staying inside their vehicles when visiting the park, and to keep a good distance between animals and their vehicles and give animals a chance to move freely, and to only get out of vehicles in safely designated areas."

Nel added it was 'normal behaviour' for wild elephants to defend their young.

Featured Image Credit: Solarpix / FREDRIK LERNERYD/AFP via Getty Images

Topics: Animals, Travel