Zoo employee killed by lion
Bloemfontein - A Johannesburg Zoo employee has died after being attacked by a lion at the zoo's lion farm, Rietkuil, in the Free State's Vredefort area, Volksblad newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Joe Ramonetha, 63, who had worked for the zoo for nearly 40 years, was taken to a Parys hospital where he died on Monday.
Zoo spokesperson Louise Gordon told the newspaper that zoo employees were in mourning, as Ramonetha was a much-loved member of staff.
"We're very shocked, because he had decades of experience and training in various safety procedures. We don't know what could have happened."
Gordon said there were a number of gates to prevent lions from getting to employees while they were feeding the animals or cleaning cages.
"Somehow a female lion managed to get to him. He was either cleaning or feeding, we're not sure. Food scraps were found near the scene of the tragedy."
Police spokesperson Maselela Langa was quoted as saying that doctors were unable to save Ramonetha.
Veterinarians later darted the lion and moved her to a different cage.