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article imageBritish birdwatcher trampled to death by elephant in India

By Anne Sewell     Sep 21, 2013 in World
A distracted British tourist was trampled to death by an elephant in Masinagudi National Park in India while out birdwatching, close to a southern Indian tiger reserve.
68-year-old Colin Manvell, a retired geography teacher from Havant in Britain was fatally injured when an elephant in the Masinagudi National Park of Tamil Nadu state's Nilgiris district charged him.
Manvell was declared dead at the hospital, according to area police chief T. Senthil Kumar.
Manvell arrived in India on September 13 and was met by a local guide, M. Kumar, in Masinagudi village.
Kumar said, "He arrived late at night and checked into a private home as all resorts were booked."
Masinagudi reportedly also boasts a state-protected tiger reserve and is a popular area for wildlife enthusiasts.
Kumar went on:
"After lunch on Thursday [Mr Manvell] went out on foot for birdwatching near a lake, which is [also] a watering hole of wild elephants."
"When he did not return by 4:15pm, we followed his trail and heard the sounds of a tusker trumpeting loudly."
According to Gnanadoss, a forest warden in Masinagudi (who only uses one name), Manvell did not notice the adult male elephant until it was too late.
The Times is reporting that Manvell is hard of hearing and probably didn't hear the elephant approach.
"It swiped him with its trunk and then trampled him on the ground," Gnanadoss said.
The attack apparently occurred 100 meters from a site where a woman was killed by elephants in 2009.
Initially Manvell was taken to a local hospital, but there was no doctor to treat him, so he was then sent to a medical facility in Cuddalore city, 23 kilometers away.
Unfortunately he passed away from his injuries in transit, according to Kumar.
Kumar described Manvell as an avid birdwatcher who had been visiting Masinagudi in February and September each year, for the past five years. He referred to him as a "soft-spoken photographer".
"He knew his way well around here, he was aware of the wild elephants and also the dangers that lurk in the local jungles. This is tragic," Kumar added.
The Foreign Office confirmed the death, saying: "We can confirm the tragic death of a British national, Colin Manvell on 19 September in Masinagudi, Nilgiris District."
"We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time."
Manvell’s brother, 74-year-old Derek, described the tragedy as a “massive shock”, saying “In the last five years safaris have become his passion."
“He died doing something he loved. He had a passion for photography and loved taking picture of animals.”
More about India, British tourist, Elephant, trampled to death, Birdwatching
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