Elephant kills American tourist in Zambia

Four elephants walking in a grass field
Authorities have warned tourists to exercise extreme caution while observing wildlife around the country [Reuters]

A US tourist from New Mexico was killed by an elephant, after it attacked her vehicle while parked during a safari drive in Zambia on Wednesday.

The animal pulled Juliana Gle Tourneau, 64, out of the vehicle and trampled her, officials said.

Ms Tourneau was with a group that had stopped near the Maramba Cultural Bridge in Livingstone due to traffic from an elephant herd when one of the animals attacked, a police official told the Zambian national broadcaster ZNBC.

This marks the second fatal elephant attack on a US tourist in the southern African country this year.

Gail Mattson, a 79-year-old woman from Minnesota, was killed during a game drive in Zambia's Kafue National Park.

During the March incident, an elephant charged the truck, flipped it over, killed Ms Mattson and injured five others.

Rona Wells, Ms Mattson's daughter, wrote on Facebook that her mother died in a "tragic accident while on her dream adventure".

Video of the attack later went viral and showed an elephant charging towards the vehicle. None of the vehicle passengers are seen in the video, but someone can be heard saying "oh my goodness," and "it's coming fast".

The vehicle stops to presumably attempt to stave off the elephant, but the animal hooks its tusk onto the vehicle and it rolls several times.

Zambian authorities have called on tourists to exercise extreme caution while observing wildlife around the country.

Zambia's neighbours Zimbabwe and Botswana have also raised concern about increasing elephant populations in their respective countries.

Zimbabwe has recorded deadly elephant attacks in recent years.