Remains of Free State man found in lion enclosure

2010-05-14 12:44

A 31-year-old man has been killed by a lion on a farm in the Free


Police spokesperson Captain Rulene Kuhn said the Bethlehem police

were called out to the farm, near Reitz, at noon yesterday.

The owner of the farm, Hansie Wapenaar (38), called the police

after he had spotted pieces of ripped clothing in one of the lion


Kuhn said the victim was later identified as Tebedi Nkutha, who had

been reported as missing on the same day by his mother in Petsana.

Nkutha did not work on the farm and he was not known to Wapenaar,

who has been breeding lions since 1993.

“This is not a game farm. It is not for tourism.

It is a business

like any other,” the breeder is reported to have told a local newspaper.

“The police are investigating the matter. The details are still


 We are still trying to figure out how this could have happened.

This is

upsetting. You don’t ask for something like this.”

Wapenaar said it was not clear how the man had managed to get into

the lion enclosure.

“The lions can’t walk just anywhere.

I have been breeding lions

since 1993 and this is the first time something like this has happened,” he


The police have opened a post-mortem docket.

Kuhn said Nkutha’s mother had identified her son by his clothing

and at this stage police did not suspect foul play. – Sapa

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