Sharon Brown, a 39 year old American, and her 1 year old daughter were trampled to death earlier this week when an elephant charged out of the woods near the Mt. Kenya National Park, in Kenya, Africa.
Brown was hiking on a nature trail with three other adults, including her husband and an unarmed guide when the elephant appeared out of the bush at full speed. Everyone managed to escape, but Brown, perhaps in a panic or slower because she was carrying her daughter, wasn’t able to get away in time.
Kentice Tikolo, a spokeswoman for the Kenya Wildlife Service, said that charging elephant incidents in which people are killed are rare, happening about once a year, despite the popularity of hiking tours in Kenya’s national parks. Tikolo also said that because lone elephants can be dangerous, hikers are encouraged to take an armed guard with them if traveling to areas known to have elephants.
But Brown and her family, who were vacationing at The Castle Forest Lodge outside the boundary of Mt. Kenya National Park, were with a hotel guide, who’s not allowed to carry a firearm.
Brown, her husband, and daughter lived in Kenya, and both parents were on the faculty of the International School of Kenya, which teaches an American curriculum to grades K-12. Her friends and co-workers held a memorial service on Wednesday.