Elephant kills UK soldier on anti-poaching duty in Malawi

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Image: African elephant bulls
African elephant bulls in Liwonde National Park, Malawi on May 27, 2016.   -   Copyright  Wolfgang Kaehler

LONDON — A British soldier has been killed by an elephant while on anti-poaching operations in Malawi.

Guardsman Mathew Talbot of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards was on patrol in Liwonde National Park when he was killed on Sunday, Britain's Ministry of Defense said.

His commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ed Launders, said Tuesday that the 22-year-old soldier "was hugely proud of his work as a counter-poaching operator, and tragically died doing great good."

About 30 British soldiers are in the southern African country to help train rangers tasked with protecting endangered wildlife.

Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt said Talbot's death "is a reminder of the danger our military faces as they protect some of the world's most endangered species from those who seek to profit from the criminal slaughter of wildlife."