News24

Game ranger saved from lion's jaw

2011-11-02 10:36

Upington - A game ranger’s life was heroically saved on Tuesday when an aggressive lion attacked him on the back of a bakkie in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Albert Bojone was literally pulled from the lion’s jaws when Graeme Ellis, a biotechnician and researcher in the park, jumped out of the bakkie’s cabin and dragged him inside.

Bojone’s boot, which was grabbed by the lion, remained between the lion’s teeth when Ellis pulled him free. The lion was shot dead with the boot in his jaws.

The lion had first bitten his arm and when he let go, Bojone jumped onto the bakkie cabin’s roof with the lion jumping up after him.

Other lions shot


The lion attack came after four lions were shot dead over the weekend for killing cattle.

Henriëtte Engelbrecht, marketing and communication manager of the South African National Parks (SANParks) arid parks in the Northern Cape, said Bojone, Ellis and Mico Ferreira, senior game ranger, were looking for the three remaining lions in the pride on the Botswana side of the park close to the border with South Africa.

Bojone sat on the back of the bakkie and the other two were in the cabin. They followed the two lions and then drove behind the one on the right.

The next moment the other lion rushed at the bakkie and jumped on the back.

“The bakkie fortunately had railings, which held the lion back. He got hold of Bojone’s arm. When he let go for a moment, Bojone jumped on the cabin roof.”

The lion jumped onto the back and grabbed Bojone’s foot. Ellis then got out of the cabin and pulled Bojone in.

Both his boots were left behind, one between the lion’s teeth. This boot had four holes where the lion had bitten it.

Bojone was rushed to the Mediclinic in Upington where he was still in the ICU on Tuesday.

Engelbrecht said the lions, known among rangers as “bush lions” usually frequented areas where there were no people.

No previous lion attacks


The lion that attacked Bojone was possibly furious about his mate that had been shot dead.

When the lions moved out of their area, game rangers were sent to catch them. They were then brought back to Kgalagadi, where they were kept for 14 days in a boma. They were then released about 200km from where they were found.

She said Nardus du Plessis, the park’s former senior game ranger, on Tuesday confirmed to her that no lion had attacked a human being in the 15 years that he had been in the park.

Bojone had been working in the park for 22 years.

He also said something like this had never happened while he was working at the park.

Engelbrecht said lions had rushed at vehicles before. A blanket was then usually thrown over them when they got close to the vehicle. They then fought the blanket and usually gave up.

On Tuesday, however, the lion simply pushed through the blanket to get to Bojone.

“He must have been furious.”

Comments
  • SpearTheMighty - 2011-11-02 10:53

    Makes one rethink that open vehicles on game drives.

      Thulebona - 2011-11-02 10:55

      certainly does hey, certainly does. Nature is unpredictable

      Rudie - 2011-11-02 11:25

      No need to kill the Lion ....

      roboman1 - 2011-11-02 11:37

      On Saturday the Sharks, now the people, there is no stopping the 2011 Lions

      Aisha - 2011-11-02 13:03

      But why do they kill these beautiful creatures?

      Peter - 2011-11-07 16:16

      @Roboman1 Brilliant, they also won Ranger, oops, I meant to say Coach of the Year. On a serious note - why kill that Lion ??? I still a not clear on what he did wrong. Mr. Bojone, thank heavens, is OK from the sound of things and there is valid reason given for shooting the animal.

      Thozi - 2011-11-19 14:19

      @ Aisha: Which is which? Lions or Man killing beautiful creatures?

  • Richard - 2011-11-02 10:57

    Why did you have to shoot them? You were in a park where there are supposed to be Lions? That's why we go there!!

      Hennie - 2011-11-02 11:38

      if a lion learns about easy prey it will ignore the wild prey and keep going back for the cattle. Why would it try a difficult hunt if easy ones are available. How long before it then attacks and learns to eat the people looking after the cattle. Sadly, they had to be shot.

      Juicecard - 2011-11-02 12:19

      @ Hennie,very true

  • Kgopotso - 2011-11-02 10:59

    Speedy recovery mate..

  • alecjackson2183 - 2011-11-02 11:01

    Everyone is making these guys out to be heroes but they were the ones hunting the lions... and nature turned on them for once!

      Ulindi - 2011-11-02 12:41

      @alecjackson2183 - where do you gather this information???! The Cattle owners killed the lions...the rangers were sent to capture and re-allocate them.

      Skinfaxi - 2011-11-02 13:54

      They weren't killing them - just giving them the boot :)

  • Mzamo - 2011-11-02 11:05

    He he he!!! Lions paying a revenge because their fellows were also shot!! Crazy! But thank God this man was saved from these lions!!

  • Gina - 2011-11-02 11:11

    WTF!!??? Lions eat meat it's common knowledge!! The rangers should have put precautionary measures in place, such as not let the cattle roam in the park maybe!? This situation could easily have been prevented! I don't blame the lion for attacking it was clearly frightened "about his mate that had been shot dead." I'm glad the Rangers are ok but they seriously need to THINK before they act! R.I.P to the four lions that died :(

  • russell.worthington - 2011-11-02 11:11

    Albert must have been a Shark supporter!

      Skinfaxi - 2011-11-02 11:16

      Yea the Lions win one Currie Cup and now they think they own the place!

      Deirdre - 2011-11-02 11:24

      You stole my comment!!! He He He.

      Skinfaxi - 2011-11-02 11:49

      He didn’t steal your comment. Your ancestors took the comment away from him 200 years ago and now he demanded eet beck!

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2011-11-02 11:33

    This guy is a hero. Albert should forever be grateful. Nice story.

  • Janice - 2011-11-02 11:36

    YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE, KILLING THEM, WHEN YOU ARE ON THEIR TERRITORY!! SIES MAN!

  • Richard - 2011-11-02 11:37

    Sitting on the back of a bakkie tracking wild lions. What do you expect dumb ass. Play with wild animals and you are bound to get hurt at some stage. Why should the lion have been put down? What were cattle doing in the nature reserve in the first place? Surely it must be accepted as common knowledge that if you herd and graze cattle in a nature reserve where there are predators your cattle are GOING to be attacked.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-03 06:21

      And you're sure the cattle were "in" the park when they were killed. Its sad, but part of managing a game park involves killing "rogue" animals. Humans and animals will come into conflict at times, if these issues are not dealt with, neighbours of these areas will turn against these reserves. Open vehicles are used as they are more practical - you try spending a day under a canopy in the hot Kalahari, you'll go on strike after 1 hour! This was a freak incident, and unlikely to change the way these guys do their jobs in the future.

  • Jaco - 2011-11-02 11:57

    Why do you kill the lions, you dumb ass idiots!

      David - 2011-11-02 12:13

      Maybe the next time wild animals will also kill every person they see as well? An eye for an eye?

  • davieoosie - 2011-11-02 12:14

    If I was the lion I would have done the same. Life's not fair. Glad no human was killed though.

  • Gerhard - 2011-11-03 06:11

    meat is meat and lion must eat

  • thabelorale - 2011-11-14 09:12

    Do n't kill the lion

  • Liz - 2011-11-14 09:33

    I don't understand they were in a game farm a SANparks farm no doubt, why were the lions shot for doing what lions do (hunting killin cattle) they don't understand that cattle are not for lion consumpion. I hate people in this country!!!!!!!

  • Sammy - 2011-11-14 10:59

    I like to applaud Graem for the his bravery on saving this man,s life which in its nature put his own life on the line. thanks atleast a human being survived the jaws of the mighty lion and i believe that lion went hungry the whole day since it missed a meal hahahahahaha love you all.

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