Lion attack victim identified

2015-06-03 15:03
Camp 2 at the Lion Park was still closed on Tuesday to tourists. (Nelius Rademan, Netwerk24)

Camp 2 at the Lion Park was still closed on Tuesday to tourists. (Nelius Rademan, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The UK’s Daily Mail on Wednesday named the American woman killed by a lioness at the Fourways Lion Park outside Johannesburg as Katherine Chappell.

The website reported that Chappell was a 29-year-old film editor who worked on an Emmy-winning episode of Game of Thrones.

She was in Africa to raise money for a charitable organisation that protects animals from poachers, the UK newspaper reported.

Chappell died at the park on Monday.

The US embassy would however not confirm the woman's name.

"We are going to continue to respect the wishes of the family and we will not give out her name or any further details," said embassy spokesperson Jackhill Meyer.

"I understand some media may be naming her but they are not getting it from me," he said.

Meanwhile, the tour group said it would also abide by the family's wishes and withhold her name.  

A statement from Kalabash Tours confirmed that she had been travelling in a vehicle with the owner of the tour company, Pierre Potgieter.

"We understand that at one point they stopped to view a pride of lions. The tourist had a camera and, of her own accord, rolled down the passenger window in order to take photographs," the statement said.

The lioness reportedly jumped into the car through Chappell's open passenger window and attacked her.

"Mr Potgieter, 66-years-old, tried to fend the lioness off and in the process sustained injuries to his arm.

“When the lion retreated, Mr Potgieter saw that the tourist had sustained extremely serious injuries. She was bleeding profusely from her neck," the tour operator said.

"Under the circumstances Mr Potgieter tried his best to stop the bleeding and save her life. He applied constant pressure to stop the bleeding, while calling for help."

Besides physical injuries, Potgieter also suffered a heart attack during the incident. He was being treated in hospital.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  animals

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