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FORMER UCSD DEAN DR. THOMAS McAFEE TRAMPLED TO DEATH BY AN ELEPHANT WHILE ON SAFARI IN TANZANIA

Well Traveled: Dr. McAfee was due to start work as the CEO of the Keck Medicine of USC Medical Foundation on Tuesday and he sadly died on Saturday. Here he is seen in Brazil

University dean ‘trampled to death by an ELEPHANT on luxury African  vacation’ just three days before he was due to start his new job

  • Dr. Thomas McAfee, 58, died on Saturday  after being trampled by an elephant in Tanzania
  • His body is still being held in Tanzania  and is awaiting a death certificate
  • His family have been informed of his  tragic death
  • Former UCSD dean was about to start new  job as chief executive of the Keck Medicine of USC

By  James Nye Daily mail PUBLISHED: 4 September 2013

Tragedy: Dr Thomas McAfee has died on vacation in Africa after being trampled to death by an elephant while on safari in Tanzania Tragedy: Dr Thomas McAfee has died on vacation in Africa  after being trampled to death by an elephant while on safari in Tanzania

An American doctor has died in terrifying  circumstances while on a luxury safari in Africa after being trampled to death  by a charging elephant on Saturday.

Sources with knowledge of the incident have  confirmed to the MailOnline that Thomas McAfee, 58, a dean at University of  California was in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania on vacation before  starting a new position as chief executive of the Keck Medicine of USC Medical  Foundation

McAfee’s body is still in the east African  nation and his family have been informed of the tragedy as they wait for a death  certificate to be issued.

There is no word yet on when his body will be  flown back to the United States and details are scarce as to the exact  circumstances surrounding his shocking death.

Elephants are known to make unprovoked  attacks on people, but more often they react when they feel that their family is  threatened or cornered.

As the world’s largest land animal weighing  up to 15,000 pounds, a charging elephant is a frightening and deadly force to be  reckoned with.

According to Debra Kain, director of Health  Sciences Research Communications at UC San Diego, the death has come as a huge  unexpected shock.

Well Traveled: Dr. McAfee was due to start work as the CEO of the Keck Medicine of USC Medical Foundation on Tuesday and he sadly died on Saturday. Here he is seen in BrazilWell Traveled: Dr. McAfee was due to start work as the  CEO of the Keck Medicine of USC Medical Foundation on Tuesday and he sadly died  on Saturday. Here he is seen in Brazil

 

In an email sent to NBC San Diego, Mounir  Soliman, assistant vice chancellor and executive director of Health Sciences  International said, ‘It’s a true tragedy and great loss to all of us at UCSD. We  are planning several events in celebration of Dr. McAfee’s life.’

Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest  national park in Tanzania and covers 1,100 square miles and is home to 550  species including the giraffe, zebra and is noted for the famous termite mounds  that dot the landscape.

A luxury safari in the park with  accommodation at one of the top lodges in the area can cost up to $1,000 a  night.

Safari: Former UCSD Dean Thomas McAfee was spending time at the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania before he was due to begin his new job on TuesdaySafari: Former UCSD Dean Thomas McAfee was spending time  at the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania before he was due to begin his new  job on Tuesday

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania --- Tarangire Safari Lodge consists of luxury tented accommodations overlooking the Tarangire RiverTarangire National Park, Tanzania — Tarangire Safari  Lodge consists of luxury tented accommodations overlooking the Tarangire  River

Tarangire National Park: Despite the allure of a safari in Africa, the wild animals that roam the plains are all potentially deadlyTarangire National Park: Despite the allure of a safari  in Africa, the wild animals that roam the plains are all potentially  deadly

 

 

 

Fearsome: An elephant bull (not the same elephant that attacked Dr. McAfee) swinging his trunk and running to chargeFearsome: An elephant bull (not the same elephant that  attacked Dr. McAfee) swinging his trunk and running to charge

 

In a varied career at UC San Diego, McAfee  was the dean of Clinical Affairs for the UC San Diego Health Sciences, as well  as chief executive officer for UC San Diego Faculty Practice.

Sheer Power: The Dangers of a Charging Elephant

  • It is thought that up to 500 people a year  are killed by being trampled by elephants in Africa and Asia.
  • Most charges are ‘mock’ threats and one of  the key giveaways to this is whether the ears are fanned out or  not.
  • If they are fanned out it means the elephant  is making a false charge and is not intending to follow through.
  • If the elephant’s ears are pinned back flat,  it is likely that the charge is real. This will often be accompanied by a trunk  that is curled inward.
  • If the elephant is trumpeting, it is also a  sign that the charge is more likely to be mock.

According his online biography, McAfee joined  UCSD Health Sciences in 2002 as their physician-in-chief.

His former colleages at UC San Diego, David  Brenner, MD, Paul Viviano and Larry Friedman, MD, released the following email  on Sunday to staff.

‘It is with regret and personal sadness that  we inform you that Dr. Thomas McAfee, until very recently, the Dean of Clinical  Affairs for UC San Diego Health Sciences and CEO for UC San Diego Faculty  Practice, was killed in an accident while on vacation in Africa. We have no  other details at present,’ reads the email.

‘Dr. McAfee served us and worked alongside us  for more than 11 years, and his death is a great loss – both to many of us  personally, and to the field of health care which would have benefited  enormously from his talent and dedication in coming years.

‘Dr. McAfee was adventurous in spirit, loved  to visit new places and to meet new people. A celebration of his life will be  held in coming weeks for the Health Sciences community.’

University of California San Diego: McAfee¿s last day with UC San Diego was fairly recentUniversity of California San Diego: McAfee¿s last day  with UC San Diego was fairly recent

 

On Tuesday he was to have begun as CEO of the  newly formed Keck Medicine of USC Medical Foundation.

‘We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen  Thomas McAfee in Tanzania on August 31.  We offer our condolences to his  family and loved ones on their loss,’ said a spokesman for the U.S. State  Department,

‘We are in contact with the family and are  providing all appropriate consular assistance.

‘Out of respect for the privacy of those  affected, we decline further comment.’

McAfee was set to begin a new job at the University of Southern California this Tuesday, Sept. 3, as the CEO of the Keck Medicine of USC Medical FoundationMcAfee was set to begin a new job at the University of  Southern California this Tuesday, Sept. 3, as the CEO of the Keck Medicine of  USC Medical Foundation

 

Leslie Ridgeway, director of media relations  for Keck Medical Center of USC, released the following statement Sunday  afternoon for Thomas Jackiewicz, senior vice president and CEO of USC  Health:

‘We are devastated by this news,’ said  Jackiewicz.

‘Tom was a dear friend of mine and a  respected colleague. His contributions to health care were numerous, and he was  excited about the opportunity to begin a new chapter of his life and career  helping us propel USC forward in its health-care growth.

‘The world has lost a kind and talented  individual far too soon.’

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