Home U.K Elephant killed poacher patrol Briton trying to escape up tree, inquest hears

Elephant killed poacher patrol Briton trying to escape up tree, inquest hears


Lance Sergeant Robert Padgham said he pulled Mathew Talbot into cover, provided medical assistance and helped carry him on a stretcher to a vehicle pick-up point. The hearing, which started yesterday, heard the 22-year-old was seen being “thrown” into the air by the animal.

Guardsman Talbot, of Great Barr, West Midlands, suffered fatal injuries on May 5 2019, while on an eight-day, five-man anti-poaching patrol in Liwonde National Park.

Patrol leader L/Sgt Padgham, giving evidence via video-link, said he was twice forced to climb a tree to escape being injured by elephants.

L/Sgt Padgham, who used two firecrackers to try to scare away the animals, said in a statement read to Oxford Coroner’s Court: “At about 10am we were patrolling through elephant grass, which is roughly 7ft in height and visibility is limited.

“An elephant appeared roughly 5m (16ft) to my right.”

The inquest was told that both soldiers and three park rangers began running in different directions, as they had been taught.

As Guardsman Talbot attempted to climb a “prominent branch” of a tree, he was seen being “thrown” and “knocked” into the air.

L/Sgt Padgham told the court he had lit and thrown a firecracker in an attempt to scare the elephants away, and they left the immediate scene.

He added: “As I went down to him initially, I dragged him into the cover of that tree.”

L/Sgt Padgham said they had been taught to fire warning shots to scare away animals only as a last resort.

But he added: “In my mind personally, if I was in a position to, I would have fired a warning shot.” The hearing will continue for two weeks.

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