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Pictured: Tourist trampled to death by elephants in front of his fiancée after he got out of his car to photograph them in a South African game reserve

This is the first photo of a would-be tourist who was brutally crushed to death by an angry herd of elephants in front of his screaming fiancée after he got out of his car to take photos in a South African game reserve.

Spanish authorities have identified the man as 43-year-old Carlos Luna from Ejea de los Caballeros, near Zaragoza, Spain.

Luna and his fiancée were visiting Pilanesberg National Park, near the world-famous tourist resort of Sun City, when they spotted a herd of three cubs near a lake.

Despite warnings from his three fellow passengers to get back in the car, Luna said he wanted to see the six elephants up close. He got out and walked over to them.

A huge adult cow weighing 3.5 tons, which was protecting the young members of the herd, became frightened and attacked the man. She was joined by the other two adult bulls who also attacked.

First photo of a Spanish tourist who died after being attacked by an elephant he was photographing during a safari holiday in South Africa with his fiancée. Spanish officials have confirmed that the dead man is from the town of Ejea de los Caballeros near Zaragoza. He has been named as 43-year-old cleaning company boss Carlos Luna.

First photo of a Spanish tourist who died after being attacked by an elephant he was photographing during a safari holiday in South Africa with his fiancée. Spanish officials have confirmed that the dead man is from the town of Ejea de los Caballeros near Zaragoza. He has been named as 43-year-old cleaning company boss Carlos Luna.

The screaming Spaniard ran back to his friends in the car with his camera, but was overtaken by the herd that was chasing him, knocking him over and trampling him.

According to witnesses, after the 30-second attack, all that remained were the tourist’s torn, blood-soaked clothes and the remains of the tourist’s body, crushed in the earth.

Pilanesberg National Park is a popular tourist attraction once visited by England stars such as David Beckham and Wayne Rooney during the Three Lions’ failed 2010 World Cup campaign.

The four visitors were driving around Pilanesberg National Park, near the world-famous tourist resort of Sun City, when they spotted a breeding herd with three youngsters near a lake

The four visitors were driving around Pilanesberg National Park, near the world-famous tourist resort of Sun City, when they spotted a breeding herd with three youngsters near a lake

A huge adult cow weighing 3.5 tonnes, which was protecting the young members of the herd, became frightened and attacked the man. She was joined by the other two adult bulls who also attacked.

A huge adult cow weighing 3.5 tonnes, which was protecting the young members of the herd, became frightened and attacked the man. She was joined by the other two adult bulls who also attacked.

Pilanesberg National Park is a popular tourist attraction once visited by England stars including David Beckham and Wayne Rooney during the Three Lions' ill-fated 2010 World Cup campaign

Pilanesberg National Park is a popular tourist attraction once visited by England stars including David Beckham and Wayne Rooney during the Three Lions’ ill-fated 2010 World Cup campaign

It is understood the deceased was on holiday from Spain with his fiancée and was with two of her South African friends from Johannesburg when the tragedy occurred on Sunday morning.

A spokesman for the North-West Parks & Tourism Board said: ‘The elephants immediately left the scene without any aggression towards nearby vehicles and disappeared into the bush.

‘The guest was a Spanish man who had entered the Bakgatia gate with three friends. Not far from the gate he had come across a herd of elephants grazing, a little way off the road.

According to eyewitnesses, the man decided to get out of the vehicle and walk towards the elephants to take pictures.

‘Despite warnings from his fellow passengers and occupants of two other vehicles present at the time of the sighting, he unfortunately did not heed the warnings.

‘A full-grown elephant attacked the man, who then ran away from the elephant.

‘Unfortunately he could not escape or evade the elephant which was now accompanied by the entire herd. He was caught and trampled to death.

‘Park officials were alerted and immediately rushed to the scene to assist those affected, secure the accident scene, and assist with the investigation.

‘Statements from witnesses who saw the entire incident further suggest that the female elephant that attacked may have done so to protect the herd and her young.

“The matter has been handed over to the police for further investigation,” said Pieter Nel, Acting Chief Conservation Officer for the NW Parks & Tourism Board.

He further stressed that all tourists are warned not to get out of their cars and that this information is printed on their entry tickets. This is not only for the safety of the guests but also for the safety of the animals.

Mr Nel added: ‘The board is deeply saddened by this tragic accident and would like to express its sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased’.

A park ranger who asked not to be named said: ‘It was a very stupid act. The tourist was literally shouted at to get back in his car, even though he wanted to take pictures of the herd.

‘He had strayed too far from the road to get back to the car in time when he attacked. His friends were in a hysterical state and needed immediate expert assistance.

‘There wasn’t much left to identify. The victim had been trampled into the ground. Unfortunately, despite all the warnings, people still go outside to take pictures, but most are lucky and get away with it.

“The herd were not at fault and behaved completely normally when they felt threatened by their young, even walking past the car with the three of his friends in it as they left,” he said.

A female elephant can be over 11 feet tall at the shoulder, weigh up to 4 tons and run up to 25 mph. The bull elephants can be two tons heavier and up to 13 feet tall at the shoulder

A female elephant can be over 11 feet tall at the shoulder, weigh up to 4 tons and run up to 25 mph. The bull elephants can be two tons heavier and up to 13 feet tall at the shoulder

An elephant is seen lifting a tour bus in Pilanesberg National Park

An elephant is seen lifting a tour bus in Pilanesberg National Park

North West police spokesperson, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, said: “According to information received, the man was with his fiancée and two other women in their own vehicle

‘They reportedly spotted three elephants and three calves. Reports suggest the man stopped the vehicle, got out and went closer to the elephants to take photos.

The elephants are believed to have attacked and killed him. The victim’s companions were not injured. The victim is from Spain. A full investigation is underway into the exact circumstances.

A female elephant can be over 11 feet tall at the shoulder, weigh up to 4 tons, and run up to 25 mph. Bull elephants can be two tons heavier and up to 13 feet tall at the shoulder.

Pilanesberg National Park is an area of ​​820 square kilometres in the North West Province, 160 kilometres from Johannesburg, in an old volcanic crater. It is home to the Big 5: elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion.

In March, 79-year-old American tourist Gail Mattson was killed in Zambia’s Kafue National Park when the safari vehicle she was in was attacked by a male elephant and overturned.

And in South Africa, two park rangers, David Kandela, 36, and Philani Sibiya, 33, were killed in separate incidents in February and March after being trampled by elephants while doing their work.

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