Elephant Tramples To Death American Researcher In Zambia

By @vitthernandez on
Sumatran Elephant in Wild
IN PHOTO: A Sumatran elephant is pictured at the Elephant Training Centre in Minas, Indonesia's Riau province February 29, 2008. The Sumatran elephant, the smallest of the Asian elephants, is facing serious pressures arising from illegal logging and rapid forest conversion to palm oil plantations. As forests shrink, elephants are increasingly closer to fields and cultivated land, generating conflict with humans that often result in the death of the elephants by poisoning or capture, according to a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report in 2007. The Minas Elephant Training Centre protects more than 40 elephants from around 200 elephant populations in Riau's forests. Reuters/Beawiharta

A 29-year-old American animal researcher in Zambia shrieked in fear when she saw a rampaging elephant. Her scream saved the two colleagues of Margarita Metallinou since it signaled other researchers at the Kafue National Park to run away.

Unfortunately, the post-doctoral researcher at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University was trampled to death, said Lombe Kamukoshhi, police commissioner of the country’s Central Province, reports the New York Daily News. The victim was an employee of Villanova’s biology department since 2014. Metallinou was in Zambia to research the impact of climate change on lizards, said Villanova spokesman Jonathan Gust.

She had authored scientific papers on the effect of climate change on reptiles such as geckos and snakes in the Middle East and North Africa, reports The Telegraph. Prior to working for Villanova, Metallinou studied at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and finished her PhD at Barcelona’s Institute of Evolutionary Biology.

 The institute said that although Metallinou is no longer with them, her memories will live on. It stressed that the researcher was devoted to her work and was always enthusiastic when it comes to encountering scientific challenges. She also has the ability to create a stimulating environment around her.

Wildlife parks in African nations have been hit by animal attacks on humans. In May, a lion in South Africa mauled to death an American tourist who was also a film editor. A leopard bit and clawed a British safari tourist also in South Africa. A young bull elephant in musth, or heat, killed a known game hunter in Zimbabwe in April, while in January, a crocodile ate a man in front of British tourists on a Zimbabwe river tour.

To contact the writer, email: vittoriohernandez@yahoo.com