Lily Glidden, a 24-year-old American visiting Thailand, was believed to have been trampled to death by elephants after her crushed body was found in a nature preserve.
Glidden's body was found Sunday by park rangers in Thailand's Kaeng Krachan National Park, five days after she went for a walk in the nature reserve, NBC News reported
A 2012 Tufts University graduate with a degree in biology, Glidden had always been drawn to nature and wildlife, according to friends and family who said prior to her Thailand trip the adventurous 24-year-old had trapped wolves in the West, handled venomous snakes in Hong Kong, and participated in a project that involved the counting of game animals on the Serenegti plain, NBC News noted.
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"Lily was very aware of the dangers of working with wildlife and not a person to court foolish risks, particularly where animals were involved," her family said in a statement, adding that Glidden had also completed a one-year tracking and survival course at a wilderness school.
"She had an educated and dedicated respect for the natural world and was completely comfortable in it," the family continued. "She did extensive solo hiking and backpacking in many parts throughout the West and knew how to respond to chance encounters with bears and other potentially dangerous animals."
"We believe that what happened to Lily was a result of unknowable and unusual circumstances which she must have been unable to foresee or prevent," her family concluded.
According to Glidden's close friend, the 24-year-old was on vacation in Thailand when she was killed.
"Looking at the pictures she took in her camera, we see a lot of animals, birds, snakes, lizards," Thailand Police Col. Woradet Suanklaai told local reporters, according to Canada's Journal News of the World
"We assumed she wanted to take pictures of elephants because that’s what the Kaeng Krachan National Park is famous for," Suanklaai added.
Authorities could not say what triggered the elephant stampede that apparently killed Glidden.
According to National Geographic, approximately 500 people
are killed each year by elephants.
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