Worker 'didn’t want to help' lion attack victim - report

By Drum Digital
04 June 2015

A worker at the Lion Park outside Johannesburg, where an American woman was killed by a lion, was apparently reluctant to help the victim when implored to do so.

A worker at the Lion Park outside Johannesburg, where an American woman was killed by a lion, was apparently reluctant to help the victim when implored to do so by an injured tour guide, Netwerk24 reported on Thursday.

The tour guide, Pierre Potgieter, reportedly suffered a minor heart attack following the incident, and is currently recovering in hospital.

Kalabash Tours, the tourism company that Potgieter, 66, owns with his wife, released a statement saying Potgieter had attempted to stop the bleeding of the 29-year-old victim by placing pressure on her wounds.

'Reluctant'

The statement said an employee of the park arrived at the scene, and Potgieter asked him to put further pressure on the wounds so that he could take Chappell to a hospital.

The employee had been "reluctant" to do so, and left Potgieter and Chappell in the vehicle.

"Despite Mr Potgieter's efforts, she died shortly after the ambulance arrived," the statement said.

The statement was released by Potgieter’s wife, Corlien.

Pressure on a neck wound would not necessarily stop bleeding, but can slow blood loss, ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said.

Lion Park spokesperson Scott Simpson told Netwerk24 the park was aware of the statement from Kalabash Tours, but would not comment on its contents at the time of writing.

Simpson said the park would first complete its own internal investigation.

"Our staff did their best under the circumstances,” Simpson added.

Tour guide hospitalised

According to the statement, the windows of the vehicle had not been opened while the group was travelling to the park.

The victim, Katherine Chappell, who was identified by British newspaper The Daily Mail on Wednesday, apparently opened the window to take photographs of one pride of lions.

Corlien said that her husband is still in hospital, and said the shock is starting to kick in following a dramatic few days.

His arms were seriously injured when he tried to ward off the lion.

Doctors will on Thursday determine the effect of the incident on his heart.

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