Taiwan park told to pay compensation after mother of 4 killed by buffalo

Taipei City’s Yangmingshan National Park must pay NT$4 million, though it can appeal decision

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Cattle in Yangmingshan National Park. (Wikicommons, Sinjhong0227 photo)

Cattle in Yangmingshan National Park. (Wikicommons, Sinjhong0227 photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A court has ruled the four children of a woman who was killed in a buffalo attack during a walk through Taipei City’s Yangmingshan National Park should receive state compensation of NT$3.96 million (US$134,300), reports said Saturday (July 18).

On Aug. 11, 2018, a woman surnamed Chen (陳) was walking on a path through the Qingtiangang Grasslands (擎天崗), part of Yangmingshan known for its Taiwan water buffaloes and Tajima cattle, when an animal rushed at her and caused her to fall. She died in the hospital over two weeks later, CNA reported.

In their case against the park management, Chen’s four children said safety measures at the site were inadequate, since ropes failed to protect hikers from the animals. The fact that after the incident, ropes and wood were replaced by a fence of stainless steel and cement proved the original system had been flawed, the relatives argued.

However, the attorneys for Yangmingshan National Park told Shilin District Court about warning signs it had erected along the path and about guards occasionally patrolling the area. The buffalo attack was not related to the safety of the walkway, park management said.

In the end, the court ruled the park bore responsibility for safety in a public place and the incident clearly showed that protective measures were not enough. Chen’s death was obviously a consequence of the attack by the buffalo, according to the verdict. Appeals against the Shilin District Court verdict are still possible.