NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- An American woman and her baby daughter were trampled to death by an elephant while on a forest hike in Kenya, a spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service said Wednesday.
The identity of the victims and where they were from was not disclosed.
It happened Monday when the mother and child took part in a guided walk near the Castle Forest Lodge, about 65 miles north of Nairobi, said Melia Van Leer, a spokeswoman for the lodge.
Van Leer speculated the elephant was in a herd of about 20 that were spotted later in the day with calves. Elephants can be particularly defensive when they are sheltering their young, she said.
The area is full of elephants, but encounters with humans "don't normally end in tragedy," Van Leer said. There have been no tragic incidents with elephants in the area since 2001, she said.
"This area has wild animals," she said, "and I always warn my clients and everyone else to be aware of the danger. But from now we won't allow children out anymore. The young child could have been saved."
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi refused comment Wednesday.