A Twin Cities woman on a safari in Zambia was killed when an elephant charged the vehicle she was riding in, according to the organizer of the expedition.

Gail V. Mattson, 79, of Minnetonka was on a game drive in Kafue National Park about 9:30 a.m. Saturday, when a bull elephant struck the open-air vehicle occupied by six guests and a guide, the Africa-based company, Wilderness, said in a statement.

"The vehicle was unexpectedly charged by the bull elephant," Wilderness CEO Keith Vincent said in the statement. "Our guides are all extremely well trained and experienced, but sadly in this instance, the terrain and vegetation was such that the guide's route became blocked, and he could not move the vehicle out of harm's way quickly enough."

Mattson's daughter, Rona Wells, said in a Facebook posting that her mother "lost her life in a tragic accident while on her dream adventure."

Her son, Blake Vetter, said Thursday that "this is more than about a little old lady that got killed by an elephant. She lived an extraordinary life" while raising two children on her own.

A second vehicle occupant was injured and required treatment at a private medical facility in South Africa. Four other people on the drive were treated for minor injuries, the Wilderness statement continued.

Park management were alerted to the incident, and a helicopter was dispatched to the scene to help with tending to the injured, the statement noted.

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

Vincent implored that video of the encounter not be shared on social media, but numerous news outlets have posted footage shot from inside the vehicle.

"Oh, my goodness," one person in the vehicle can be heard saying as the elephant charged closer. Then another voice, possibly the guide's, repeatedly shouted "Hey!" until the vehicle, stopped on the road, was struck and toppled on its side.

Wilderness said Zambian officials and the U.S. Embassy in the capital of Lusaka are coordinating the return of Mattson's body to the United States.

"It's a nightmare in a way, but it could be worse," Vetter said about the complications involved with bringing his mother home. "It's slow."

A State Department spokesman said that embassy officials are in contact with the family of the deceased and are providing assistance.

"Millions of U.S. citizens engage in adventure travel each year, and attacks on humans by elephants in Zambia are a rare occurrence," said the State Department spokesman, who asked that his name not be included.

While many wildlife parks in southern Africa teem with dangerous animals such as elephants and lions, such incidents are rare. But they sometimes do result in death due to the unpredictability of wild animals.

Wilderness has been organizing safaris for more than 40 years in Botswana, where it is headquartered, as well as Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Kafue is Zambia's largest and oldest national park, according to National Geographic. Roughly the size of New Jersey, the 74-year-old park covers 8,650 square miles of savannas, seasonal flood plains and lush forest.

Vetter said his mother loved adventures to China and other far-flung destinations over the years. She retired at 55 as a mortgage company loan officer. Mattson split her time between the Twin Cities and the Phoenix area and golfed three to four times a week, he said.

"We were going to sky-dive when she got back," Vetter said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.