Oklahoma Gorilla Trekker Stung to Death by Killer Wasps in Uganda

An American tourist on a gorilla trek in southwestern Uganda was killed when a swarm of wasps attacked, stinging her to death, according to local reports. The woman was identified by police in Uganda’s Kigezi sub-region as 65-year-old Gloria Suemiller from Oklahoma City.

She and a small group of tourists, including her husband, Gary Lynn White, were trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park looking for gorillas on Thursday.

The group had crossed the border from Kigali, the capital of neighboring Rwanda, police said, before spending the night in the Ruhija rest camp on the edge of Bwindi.

"They this morning decided to go to the park, and the victim was the one in front of the others with the park guides," said Elly Matte, a Kigezi police spokesman, reported Xinhua. "The wasps just attacked her at once in big numbers as the rest escaped unhurt."

gorilla A Silverback male mountain Gorilla sits in the dense jungle canopy on the edge of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. An American tourist on a gorilla trek in southwestern Uganda was killed when a swarm of wasps attacked, stinging her to death. STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images

Her body has been taken for a postmortem examination, Uganda's Red Pepper reported, and police are investigating the circumstances around her death.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the U.S. Embassy in Uganda did not respond to a request for comment.

The vast park spans 79,074 acres, and its rich environment is home to around half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, according to UNESCO. It is also home to chimpanzees and African elephants, among many other endangered species.

UNESCO says the park “represents a conservation front line as an isolated forest of outstanding biological richness surrounded by an agricultural landscape supporting one of the highest rural population densities in tropical Africa.”

One TripAdvisor review of the park from 2013 mentioned wasps: “When we passed by Ruhija the biggest danger were these awful biting wasps that attacked with no obvious reason.”

However, another reviewer wrote: "Biting wasps? I have never seen those in seven visits. It must have been a sudden invasion."

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