Gail Mattson: American Tourist Killed by Five-Ton Bull Elephant on Safari in Zambia Seen Smiling in Photo Moments Before Attack [WATCH]

The mother-of-two split her time between Minnesota and Arizona and confided in friends that the safari would be "her last big adventure."

The American tourist who was killed by a charging bull elephant that overturned their safari vehicle in Zambia over the weekend has been identified as an adventurous 79-year-old woman who the trip to serve as her "last big adventure." Gail Mattson, visiting from Minnesota, was photographed on the safari vehicle holding a flower on the day of her tragic death.

Mattson was killed in the attack while on a game drive with five other tourists in the Kafue National Park on Saturday. Another person sustained serious injuries in the incident. Terrifying video footage has emerged of the moment the raging bull elephant chases the safari vehicle before taking Mattson's life.

Laughing Last Photo

Gail Mattson
Gail Mattson seen smiling in one of her photos before she was killed by a five-ton bull elephant while on safari in Zambia X

Mattson's family shared heartbreaking photographs taken on the day she was killed, showing her holding a flower inside a safari vehicle. Her loved ones said she was "living life" on that day, KSTP reported.

The mother-of-two split her time between Minnesota and Arizona and confided in friends that the safari would be "her last big adventure."

Gail Mattson
Gail Mattson seen holding a flower and smiling in her last photo X

Her friend John Longabauth said: "Because her birthday is in the summer — I think she was going to be 80, and she felt like she would start slowing down.

"To be honest, I don't know if she'd slow down or not. But at least you wouldn't be traveling as far, probably."

Mattson's daughter Rona Wells posted images of their African trip on Facebook along with a heartfelt tribute. "We would like to share some amazing pictures of our wonderful Mom's trip to South Africa with her friends and family," Wells wrote.

"Sadly she lost her life in a tragic accident while on her dream adventure. I hope these pictures bring some happiness to those that loved her. RIP Mom. We love you and will miss you."

Killed in No Time

Frightening video footage captures the elephant chasing the safari vehicle just moments before it charged at the group, causing the truck to flip, while the guide shouted at the creature in an attempt to deter it.

Bull elephant
The bull elephant seen charging at the safari truck before flipping it multiple times X

A tourist is heard saying "oh my goodness" as the elephant keeps pace with the car, while another says "oh oh" and a third adds "it's coming fast" in the tense moments leading up to the collision.

The game ranger suddenly halts the vehicle before the elephant veers to the right and launches an attack on the safari truck, sparking speculation from wide shots that they had run out of road.

As the driver realizes it is not a mock charge, he loudly calls out "hey hey hey hey hey" while the five-ton elephant, standing 10 feet tall, appears intent on a deadly attack.

Amid the panicked screams of the tourists, the recording captures the elephant hooking its three-foot tusks under the bodywork of the truck and flipping it onto its side before the footage cuts out.

The family told the outlet that they were contacted by the US Embassy regarding her death.

Bull elephant
The bull elephant seen hitting the safari truck before killing the American tourist X

"At around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning the six guests were on the game drive when the vehicle was unexpectedly charged by the bull elephant," Wilderness Zambia CEO Keith Vincent said in a statement.

"This is a tragic event and we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died. We are also, naturally, supporting those guests and the guide involved in this distressing incident," Vincent said.

The group was said to be staying at the lavish Lufupa Camp in the Kafue National Park, which is known to be the largest game reserve in Africa.