Ranger saves little girl from lioness

2013-05-17 08:36

Madikwe - An experienced field guide put his life on the line during a recent game drive when he saved a little girl's life from an angry lioness. 

Beeld reports that Franco Kubile, 32, a guide at Madikwe Game Reserve in North West, was taking a group of seven tourists on a game drive when the incident took place. 

"We came to an open piece of veld and I got out and took a look around to make sure there were no animals in the vicinity, so the guests could also get out. 

During this time a few of the guests made use of a large, bushy tree close by to go to the toilet and I went back to the vehicle to fetch some coffee cups. That was when I heard people yelling and saw a mother and her toddler daughter running away from a lioness," he explained. 

He knew he only had a split second to make a decision - either his life or the little girl's. 

"I realised I would have been in a lot of trouble if anything happened to the little girl, so decided that it would rather have to be me."

He jumped in between the charging lioness and the terrified guests, looked her in the eye and shouted "Stop! Stop!" He also threw a coffee cup at her before slowly backing off. Fortunately, she turned around and ran away.

"There's a 50/50 chance that a lion will run away when you take it on, however, as soon as you start running it sees you as prey," Kubile explained. 

He later realised that the lioness had hidden her cubs in the tree the guests had used as a toilet, and was merely trying to protect them. 

Allowing guests to alight from game viewing vehicles for a coffee break in the morning is standard practice in most private game reserves.

Read more on:    good news  |  animals  |  travel south africa

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