The Associated Press

Apparent Thai Elephant Attack Victim Was Tufts Grad

FREEVILLE, N.Y. — A tourist apparently trampled to death by elephants in Thailand was a recent college graduate from upstate New York who loved animals, authorities said Friday.

The Department of State identified her as Lily Glidden, of Freeville, a small village near Ithaca. Glidden’s body was found by Thai park rangers on Jan. 18, five days after she had left alone from a campground in Kaeng Krachan National Park in the western province of Petchaburi.

Glidden, 24, was a biology major and a 2012 graduate of Tufts University who had avid interests in animals and the outdoors.

Tufts, based in Medford, Mass., said it was “saddened to learn of the death of Lily Glidden.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of this talented young woman,” university officials said in a statement.

Authorities in Thailand said Thursday the severity of Glidden’s injuries led them to believe she was attacked by elephants, but the investigation was continuing.

“Looking at the pictures she took in her camera, we see a lot of animals, birds, snakes, lizards,” police Col. Woradet Suanklaai said. “We assumed she wanted to take pictures of elephants because that’s what the Kaeng Krachan National Park is famous for.”

Kaeng Krachan, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Bangkok, is the largest national park in Thailand.

Glidden’s family said in a statement reported by NBC News that she was “very aware of the dangers of working with wildlife and not a person to court foolish risks, particularly where animals were involved.”

Photos on Glidden’s Facebook page show her working with snakes and wolves, and several of her likes feature images of elephants.

Her family said she had “an educated and dedicated respect for the natural world” and was comfortable in it. It said she did extensive hiking and backpacking and knew how to respond to chance encounters with bears and other potentially dangerous animals.

Glidden, as president of the Tufts Mountain Club, participated in a 2010 presentation by members of Primitive Pursuits, an Ithaca-based wilderness education program, the campus newspaper said.

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  • kevin

    Animal lovers and knowledgeable people are not the same thing . Animal lovers tend to be stupid . Meaning they try to put their fluffy little human emotions in an animals brain . Thinking they feel the same way towards themselves . Stay away from these dangerous animals ! They don’t want to be hugged and stroked .

    • Maureen Roy

      Funny, most animal lovers are the most evolved people I know.

  • Maureen Roy

    You obviously haven’t read anything about her – she was clearly educated on wildlife biology, zoology, and the like – including field experience, not just classroom time. I’m glad she fully lived her short life and hope others will be inspired to pursue and/or support wildlife education and ecology, locally, nationally and globally.

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