Lily Glidden went to Thailand as a young college graduate enthusiastic to learn more about wildlife and see some wild elephants, but authorities say this is precisely what led to the 24-year-old’s death.
Glidden’s body was found by Thai park rangers on January 18, five days after she set out alone from a campground in Kaeng Krachan National Park.
Authorities said the severity of the injuries Lily Glidden suffered lead them to believe she was trampled by elephants.
“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.”
Glidden was a 2012 graduate of Tufts University, where she majored in biology. She had a keen interest in animals, with pictures on her Facebook page showing her working closely with snakes and wolves.
After her shocking death, the family of Lily Glidden said she was “very aware of the dangers of working with wildlife and not a person to court foolish risks, particularly where animals were involved.”
“We believe that what happened to Lily was a result of unknowable and unusual circumstances which she must have been unable to foresee or prevent,” her family said in a statement reported by NBC.
Friends and family alike have remembered Glidden for her fearless spirit and deep love of animals.
“She was known as kind of a bad-ss,” said Ryan Clapp, a friend who had visited Glidden in Thailand earlier this month.
Lily Glidden was no stranger to working with dangerous animals. In completing her biology degree, she worked in the western United States trapping wolves, traveled to Hong Kong to handle venomous snakes, and counted game animals on the Serengeti plains.