Lion attack at popular wildlife centre

2013-07-03 10:06
Video

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2013-07-01 14:05

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Nelspruit - Volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation centre is a popular gap year option for many young adventurers, however, sometimes it may end up being a wilder experience than expected. 

An 18-year-old Canadian woman's dream of working with wild animals took a dramatic turn when a lion at the Moholoholo rehabilitation centre near Hoedspruit in Limpopo attacked her. 

Beeld reports that Lauren Fagen of Montreal, Quebec, had to fight for her life on Tuesday when Duma, a male lion, tried to drag her through the fence surrounding his enclosure. 

The animal reportedly reached through the railings with one of his paws and grabbed Fagen's right leg while she was busy feeding him. 

Fagen told the paper that the attack came completely unexpectedly, as the big cat had been particularly friendly moments before - rubbing his head and body against the enclosure, as though he was begging to be petted. 

She tried fending him off by kicking him away with her left leg, which only led to him dragging her further into the enclosure.

"I screamed and everything around me faded. I only really realised what was happening when other volunteers came rushing closer," she said. 

One of the volunteers grabbed a stick and started hitting the lion and he let go shortly after. 

Her injuries were treated on the scene after which she was rushed to Mediclinic Nelspruit. Fortunately the lion's razor sharp teeth just missed a main artery in her groin.

Although Fagen would like to complete her stint at the centre, she told Beeld that she is not sure how she'd react to the lion once she returned. 

Brian Jones from Moholoholo said that they warn their volunteers about the dangers of working with wild animals on a regular basis and that no action would be taken against Duma.

 
Read more on:    animals  |  travel south africa
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