Saturday, September 21, 2013

India: Update--British Birdwatcher Colin Manvell Trampled, Killed by Elephant in Tamil Nadu

According to the BBC, British birdwatcher Colin Manvell, in his late 60s, was trampled and killed by a wild elephant while on a birdwatching excursion in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on September 19.

The British Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to Manvell's family and would help in the repatriation of his remains.

Police said that Manvell and two guides had illegally entered a sectioned-off area, according to the BBC's Natalia Antelava. 

COMMENT: Officers said the elephant had charged Manvell and the guides. The guides, who managed to escape, would soon be arrested, according to Kenyan police.

Such incidents are rare, but resorts operating in the area are often criticized for disturbing animals and driving tourists to parts of the jungle that are not designated for safari tours.

Manvell, a retired geography teacher at Warblington School in Havant, also worked at the town's Avenue Tennis and Squash Club.

Needless to say, guides in any country should be retained only after they are properly vetted and their bona fides has been determined. Any tour operator should also be a member of a recognized tour operators organization and be licensed.