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British tourist attacked by elephant given compensation

18 February 2014, 21:05 Joseph Njung’eh

Isiolo - The Lewa conservancy, in Isiolo Kenya, has paid a British tourist an unknown amount of money as compensation for the injuries she sustained following an attack by an elephant while camping inside in the park.

Wendy Martin, 54 was attacked on June 1, 2000, she moved to court after suffering from intra-abdominal trauma, rib fractures, head injury and dislocation/sterno clavicular joint.

She was in Kenya because her husband who was employed as a diplomat had just completed his contract and that was the couples last stay in Kenya before flying to England.

Wendy was jogging alongside another guest at the park with assistance of a guide, suddenly an elephant appeared in the bushes in front of them trumpeting loudly. 

The guide ordered them to run but he did not give indication on which direction they should escape thus they ran in different directions.

Wendy, through Kapila Anjarwalla & Khann & Co. Advocates, said she fell down and went under a bush. The elephant caught up with her and pushed her on the ground for some distant.

The elephant tusks went into her body with the full weight of it on her, crushed her and later it raised her up and landed heavily on the ground on her, the court heard.

“The elephant struck her with its tusk and twice she felt the tusks go directly through her tosso. It pierced her twice through her right leg,  her kidney was removed.  The other tusk went through her back and through her leg.  Her pelvis was crushed. She was dragged for a distance,” the lawyers told court.

Wendy who is a physiotherapist by profession was airlifted to a nearest clinic where she was attended to by Italian doctors before being airlifted to Nairobi Hospital. When she stabilized she was further air lifted to England where she recovered.

By the time she went to the court to give evidence, she had undergone 15 to 21 operations and had once fainted while in the witness box.

She said the conservancy, being reasonable and prudent, ought to have taken a duty of care and by failing to do so are negligent stating that they would have taken caution in providing security and warning the runners of the dangers they may meet. 

In 2011, the court ordered the management of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to compensate her KES 60 million.

However, she appealed the ruling until recently when all the parties settled the matter out of court paying her undisclosed amounts.

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