Lion cub bites tourist in the face

2012-05-15 10:14

Johannesburg - A tourist from Singapore received 60 stitches after she was bitten in the face by a lion cub near Hoedspruit, according to a report on Tuesday.

The animal narrowly missed an artery in her neck, Beeld reported.

Madelein Querk, 28, and her husband had been touring the country for two weeks, and would have returned home on Sunday.

They were among a group of tourists who visited the Tshukudu game lodge near Hoedspruit, where members of the group posed for pictures with the cubs.

Querk was apparently posing with a year-old cub when it bit her, leaving her with four deep cuts of between 4cm and 8cm on the left side of her face, and lacerations on her left arm and leg, where the lion clawed her. Querk's husband attempted to distract the lion by hitting it with his camera.

The injured woman was treated at the Nelspruit Mediclinic, and was scheduled to fly home on Thursday.

Tshukudu lodge manager Eric Gander said on Monday night that a decision would be taken about the lion cub's future after an investigation into the incident.

  • Lorain - 2012-05-15 10:18

    Why was she so close to it? What do they mean by ä decision will be taken about it's future? That's not fair.Let the animal be.

      Angela - 2012-05-15 10:22

      Unreal. It is a wild animal. What do they expect?? Agreed Lorain: "decision would be taken about the lion cub's future after an investigation into the incident". What the hell is there to investigate? Really now, come on

      Francois Kloppers - 2012-05-15 10:29

      Exactly. Play with fire and you expect to get burned. The responsible person's future is what needs to be discussed.

      Martin - 2012-05-15 10:29

      Isnt there a saying about this.Something about walking into the Lions Den?

      John - 2012-05-15 10:32

      exactly lorain, was this stupid woman doing trying to kiss the cub or something and blame must be placed with the game lodge for allowing posing for photos with wild animals, i dont care how often they do it there is always a risk that it could turn out bad.

      Bryan - 2012-05-15 10:38

      Don't hug a lion cub....Epic fail!!!

      Marion - 2012-05-15 10:41

      Is a year-old lion still a cub? They're rather big by then to my knowledge. The Lion Park near Krugersdorp used to have genuine cubs for people to pose with not year-old's that are just short of being able to hunt small prey on their own. Said it before, and will say it again, the game parks should be more responsible. Saying 'you do this at your own risk' when you are the one with full knowledge of the potential danger is not good enough.

      Richard - 2012-05-15 10:48

      There is a blue print in every wild animals brain and this cannot be removed no matter how hard you try. Time and time again you hear of people being attacked/bitten by "tame/domesticated" wild animals. When will people learn, a wild animal remains a wild animal and will always be unpredictable.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-15 11:24

      Some people just look more tasty than others...

      Ian - 2012-05-15 11:30

      Chinese take away????

      Farmworker - 2012-05-15 11:46

      @Lorain I think is more about the future of the lion's club instead

      ettienne.stoltz - 2012-05-15 12:41

      Agreed. Leave the poor little cub alone. It was only doing what is in its nature. It must have thought it is under threat so it "attacked". It's in their nature.

      Greg - 2012-05-15 13:11

      Don't blame the cub for doing what comes naturally to him...

      Coral - 2012-05-15 16:12

      I agree with Lorain - How the hell is it the Lion cubs fault?????

  • Vanessa - 2012-05-15 10:20

    Yes people. Keep thinking that you can domesticate a wild animal. When will we ever learn? Animals are not like us. They're far more intelligent. We're actually at the bottom of the food chain, we just built fences to keep them away from us - if we didn't, we'd be easy meat.

      grant.lean72 - 2012-05-16 20:24

      they do not domesticate the Lions at Tshukudu. It is a rehabilitation reserve and some of the Lions have to be hand reaered before being released back into the wild. All guests are informed of what to do and what not to do when taken on these walks. I can only presume this particular guest got excited, squeeled, or grabbned at the lion while posing. All of which you are not to do, amongst a whole list of other things.

  • Nasiefa - 2012-05-15 10:20

    seriously the lion cub went lion on her !! its what they do , people should stop thinking its "safe" to take pics with these wild animals !!!!!!!!!!

      Sharon - 2012-05-15 10:33

      We went to a lion park and were allowed in with the cubs. Before going in we were warned not to touch their tummies or tails. We listened to the warnings and have lovely pics and great memories of our visit.

      janine.cronje - 2012-05-15 16:20

      @ Sharon, you were lucky.

  • Kala - 2012-05-15 10:21

    People under estimate the strength of a wild animal, even a 1 year old lion cub. What might just be a playful nip or a friendly bite from these animals can inflict serious damage to a human. I often used to play with lion cubs at a breeding facility in Hoedspruit and was always amazed how strong the animals are.

  • Tyrone Evans - 2012-05-15 10:24

    The lodge can't expect the cub to take the punishment for what happened. Nothing should happen to the cub. It did not choose to be there and shouldn't be held responsible for the lodge allowing tourists to play with it. Wild animals are unpredictable and people who let tourists near them need to understand this. Let the lodge deal with the consequences and leave the cub out of it.

      Patsy - 2012-05-31 11:50

      Totally agree with you, Tyrone Evans. The lion cub WAS doing what comes naturally....leave it alone!!!!

  • Paul - 2012-05-15 10:25

    At one year old the cub is a big cat, play with the little guys up to 3 months! One year olds are already in playfull mode. If you don't keep them busy they will play and that means biting..........

  • Citroes - 2012-05-15 10:25

    You shouldn't get your face close to an animal - you wouldn't do it with an unfamiliar dog, why would you do it with a wild animal, even if its still young?!

  • Renate - 2012-05-15 10:26

    "a decision would be taken about the lion cub's future" I hope that the lion still has a future!!!! it's a Lion, it's in it's nature to be playful and curious. I'm sure the cub was unaware of how rough it was playing...

  • Jackie - 2012-05-15 10:26

    When will people learn? Its a wild animal??? Cute, small, TAME - but its a wild animal and will never ever be tame! Sounds like the cub was just having a play....but they have sharp teeth & strong nails. Put the lodge manager down if anything is going to die. There is no investigation needed - the management are at fault & have obviously been living on the edge for ages and now the worst has happened. And its not an accident because it should have been prevented. If they murder that cub it will be a huge injustice.

      Marion - 2012-05-15 11:12

      @Jackie - Agree. If I went overseas and was told it was safe to pose with a year-old tiger, and it scratched/bit me, albeit playfully, I would hold the owners responsible. Just putting up signs or issuing verbal warnings doesn't exclude them from any responsibility in my opinion. Anything to make a quick buck from tourists.

  • Gerhard - 2012-05-15 10:26

    She is from the East? Maybe the little rhino orphan told the lion cub who had his mommy killed!!!!

      Francois Kloppers - 2012-05-15 10:30

      African wildlife justice...

      sally.wynne2 - 2012-05-15 11:19

      Good one Gerhard!

  • Jane - 2012-05-15 10:28

    I really am sick of these stories. If you stand in the middle of a lane in peak hour traffic, there is a pretty could chance you will be knocked over. If you put your head next to a wild animals for a pretty picture there is a pretty could chance it will bite you! Geez people, grow a brain. They are beautiful, magnificent animals to be admired, from a distance.

      Marion - 2012-05-15 11:16

      @Jane - then the owners of the wild animals should ensure that they are only viewed from a distance. Cannot blame a tourist who is told she can pose with a cub for photos. I am actually tired of people blaming visitors to our country for incidents like these when it is the reserves management that is irresponsible.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-15 11:26

      Marion - get a life.

      Marion - 2012-05-15 11:55

      @Squeegee - get a brain.

      grant.lean72 - 2012-05-16 20:37

      @Marion. If you have not been to Tshukudu as a guest Marion, don't put them down. All guests are warned what to do, and what not to do when on the game walks. The article above does not explain what the tourist was doing, only that she was bitten while posing. I am sure Tshukudu are taking full responsibility of what has happened, as it is in their nature and best interests to do so. Tshukudu have been running their reserve like this for years with very few incidents, this being the worst. Their rangers are extremely experienced when taking toursits out on the walks and are constantly watching over the animals for any reaction that could lead to a problem. This is the nature of the reserve, and to blame them outright is unfair; until the entire story of what the person was doing in the pose to cause the lion to bite her.

  • Manu - 2012-05-15 10:30

    She deserved it, messing around with wild animals as if they are teddy bears.

      Antwahn - 2012-05-15 11:29

      So she was completely ignorant, stupid even. (Vagaries of living in a big city, only ever seeing wild-life on TV?) But if stupidity should be punished, in SA there would an awful lot of punishment going round. Lodge is responsible; they should get what they deserve. (Being sued for millions.)

  • John - 2012-05-15 10:32

    You go to the Lion Park in Jo'Burg and at 6 months old they are not allowed to mix with the public, so what were they doing interacting with a 1 year old cub?

      grant.lean72 - 2012-05-16 20:44

      We had our wedding at Tshukudu, and had our photos taken with 2 of their lion cubs, which were 13 and 15 months. We were warned of the dangers and thoroughly briefed what we must and mustn't do. As we have been told the previous 2 visits to Tshukudu. We were always told to be alert and watch the animals, not to play with them, pet them, but just to let them roam naturally. Its when they get touched and pulled and pushed around that they get annoyed, it a form of play fighting for them. This would have all been explained to thbis tourist. Whether she fully understood or not, who knows. Bottom line. The lion is innocent.

  • - 2012-05-15 10:33

    Honestly? There is NO decision to be taken with the lion cub's future. It is wild animal and behaved like wild animals do! The ONLY decision to be taken here is to set it into the wild.. what was her face doing so close to him in the first place??? Stupid STUPID!!

      Marion - 2012-05-15 11:20

      @rickey - do you honestly believe that a year-old cub is the size of a domestic cat? Why do you assume she put her face close to the 'cub's'... I reckon it is pretty agile by that age. The only stupid ones are the ones who lull our tourists into thinking that it is okay to pose with a wild animal of this age in return for US$.

  • basilsp - 2012-05-15 10:37

    Now the animal is to pay for the lodge's stupidity! It should be illegal to misuse animals for profit in this fashion! These animals are wild - and to put them into close proximity to tourists or anyone not trained to work with them is just idiotic!

  • Finza - 2012-05-15 10:38

    Wild animal will always be wild,stay away from it n b safe...but i wish her speedy recorvery...

  • Nigel - 2012-05-15 10:41

    Africa is hard core.

  • Deon - 2012-05-15 10:42

    You pay extra for these photo's, no wonder most people prefer a fench between them and wild animals.

  • jaxdstephenson - 2012-05-15 10:45

    If you look at the lodge's website you'll see pics of them encouraging their guests to interact with and touch the animals. If they're going to allow that, then they need to take the blame and not 'make a decision about the lion cub's future' when things go bad. This stuff makes me SO angry. This article begs all sorts of questions - where was the cub's mother and why weren't they together. Sure, an animal rehabilitation centre with orphaned cubs is fine but not some place saying it's a game lodge. It's a shame that this woman was hurt - but at the end of the day, the lodge is at fault and decisions about THEIR future as a lodge should be taken after an investigation in the incident.

  • Kevin Nicklin - 2012-05-15 10:46

    Why should the animal be punished? It is only doing what lions do in nature! The people who need punishment here are the owners and management!

      Michelle - 2012-05-15 11:31 This is the link to email Tshukudu.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-05-15 10:47

    You don't kiss and cuddle a lion cub, no matter what age it is. Stupid woman, sorry she got hurt, but maybe she will learn from this.

      Marion - 2012-05-15 11:23

      @Carolyn - stupid woman? If you have a guest in your house and you tell her that your pit bull will not bite her and it does will you say that she is a stupid woman too? Or will you accept liability for the incident.

      Badger - 2012-05-15 12:50

      Marion, First on the scene again ? (911)

  • stiaan.jonker - 2012-05-15 10:48

    They are wild animals, emphasis on wild, not tame house cats and should be treated as such, and not cuddled. It will be very cruel to put this little cub down, it does not deserve to be put down! People should sign a disclaimer if the get bitten, mauled, scratched, etc. it is their own fault! Not the animal's!

  • Saffa in Asia - 2012-05-15 10:52

    There is no cure for stupidity. Stupidity in the case of the woman, it is a wild animal, good grief it is a no brainer and stupidity on the part of the owners for allowing this. Well will this madness stop. Anything for a quick buck. Then blame the animal. Eish.

  • christo.vanderwesthuizen - 2012-05-15 10:53

    Did you know that a bite from a wild cat gives men a spring in their "bean" and makes woman irresistible. :)

  • Candice - 2012-05-15 10:53

    A Lion cub is about the same size as Cujo

  • Clarence - 2012-05-15 10:55

    Cub probably thought it was a poacher. Cant blame the poor animal.

  • Samantha - 2012-05-15 10:58

    OH FOR PETE'S SAKE!- what is there to consider- you cannot blame the cub for doing exactly what a wild animal would!- leave the damn animals in peace

  • Ethel - 2012-05-15 11:01

    "A decision will be made about it's future"???????????? The cub didn't jump up to bite the woman. Why on earth would you put your face that close? As for the man hitting it with his camera.... Words fail me. The owners of the lodge need to look closely at their policies for allowing visitors to handle these cubs.

  • andriesl1 - 2012-05-15 11:08

    Dear Tshukudu loge owner, have you ever had your liver removed by force, shoved down your throat and had to wait till it settles back in before you could carry on with your pestering of defenseless small animals? You excuse for man, what did that lion cub do wrong?Did he not listen in class for foster animals when you were giving the lecture about not biting the hand that feeds you, by the way how is the cub doing with the etiket and english literature classes?Did he not read the sign that says, "please do not bite the human idiots that walk on two legs and lock us in cages for their amusement."You sir, you should be given the fair and honest chance to make a decision about your future.

  • jill.etchells.5 - 2012-05-15 11:11

    A wild animal is a wild animal. Humans should not try and cuddle them. Rather cuddle your fluffy toys.

  • Nicola - 2012-05-15 11:12

    It really is a wonderful lodge we go there every year. They do a walk in the mornings either with Cheetah or the lions, but you know what you are getting yourself into. Last December we decided not to walk as they had too many day visitors and not enough guides. Unfortunately the lure of money changes these places. I really do hope that the lion cub does not end up paying for human error!

  • Janine - 2012-05-15 11:12

    I was at Tshukulu beginning January best experience of my life I do not blame the lodge they give specific instructions there was one guest that pushed the limits and just ignore the ranger the rest of us walking got very annoyed with her we walked with the two lion cubs and you are told not to run have backpacks or touch various areas on them the same with the cheetah so if Tshukulu read this don’t do anything to the cub.

  • Antwahn - 2012-05-15 11:13

    Sue the the game park. They should know that a 1 yr lion cub is not a pet. To top it all, that IDIOT of a Eric Gander, now is "deciding" about the innocent animal's future! Let him "investigate" his own brain. (Or let the cub's mama do it for him.)

  • JohnnoBfree - 2012-05-15 11:13

    They should put the lodge manager down.

  • ian.levinson.7 - 2012-05-15 11:14

    for heavens sake what is with these tourists getting bitten, I have been to game farms dozens of times and have had pics taken with cubs, what are these people doing? IDIOTS

      Marion - 2012-05-15 11:29

      @Ian - I guess you're a resident in an African country. That means you know full well what to expect of our wildlife. A tourist does not have the same awareness of the dangers of wild animals and trusts those who are taking her money know that she will be safe. If there is even the slightest chance of a tragedy then interacting with wild animals should not be permitted. It's not as if she climbed out of her car in the middle of the Kruger National Park to pose with the lions.

  • Leon - 2012-05-15 11:14

    Payback for all the Rhinohorn.

      Lorain - 2012-05-15 11:54

      @ Leon LOL.

  • goldwhispers - 2012-05-15 11:17

    the lion cubs future? you mean the one where they make no money off of it? disgusting.

  • lee.venter - 2012-05-15 11:18

    I just have to see the movies that must be made of Africa showing Lions and Cheetah as huggable cuddly toys. Anyone know where i can get any copies?

  • drew.abrahamson.3 - 2012-05-15 11:18

    It is not the cubs fault people!!!!!! You shouldn't be allowing your guests to handle the cubs in the first place!!!!!!

  • Heidi - 2012-05-15 11:18

    The guide on duty is to be blamed - EVERYONE knows that, when stroking or coming near such a "domesticated" animal - one is to NOT go near the head. One is ONLY to stroke its back and tail???? Maybe cause the animal smelt cat stew on it......

      Kaatje - 2012-05-16 00:00

      Many Tourists don't listen, all they want is that perfect picture. And they all sign blindly indemnity forms. I think the whole petting with big cats is getting out of hand and it is becoming a fast moneymaking business! Poor animals being in a different kind of circus. :(

      corinne.rider - 2012-05-16 06:54

      Perhaps the guide on duty is not to blame. I was not there but I did have a circumstance where a visitor violated my instructions, the tiger was being incited and fortunately when I had to intercede it was not the other person that was bitten.

  • Pieter - 2012-05-15 11:22

    From an early age I've taught my son ... "If it's not a toy, don't play with it". Leave wild animals alone. Protect them and adore them from afar, but don't play/touch them. Why are we still allowing animals like lions to be in what's no more than a petting zoo.

  • jen.bader - 2012-05-15 11:22

    It's time the owners of 'WILD LIFE PARKS' stopped mixing tourists with the animals. Don't blame the animal if the owners and managers are plain stupid. All for a quick dollar :-(

  • Sattva - 2012-05-15 11:25

    leave the lion cub alone ! stop this business of using wildlife for photo opportunities - they are wild animals and should not be used like that.

  • Jacques - 2012-05-15 11:27

    A decision should be taken about Tshukudu lodge future. Bottom line - investigation into the incident should reveal irresponsible tourist management by the lodge.

      corinne.rider - 2012-05-16 06:44

      Or it could have been a visitor disobeying and violating instructions on how to behave with regard to the cats. An experience I have had myself with visitors.

  • Shirley - 2012-05-15 11:30

    The cubs future??? The animal is behaving is it would naturally-after all it is a wild animal! People visiting these parks enrage me because all sanity leaves them once they enter-they seem to feel that magically this cute baby animal is a "live" cuddle toy! When things like this happen then it is always the animal who has to pay the highest price!There should be laws governing these centres and the animals well being should always be top priority,not how much money can be made!!!

  • mandu.ngcobo - 2012-05-15 11:32

    And that, ladies and gents, is why you'll never find me in an enclosure with a beast like that.

  • ronn.lebese - 2012-05-15 11:36

    This animals have killer instinct from birth, They don't need to be tought how to kill. That is what they are born for. And remember this are wild animal and a superior killers in the junckle. So you rather keep your space than to kiss it, because it will kill you.

  • Billy - 2012-05-15 11:43

    Please please please don't put the lion cub down!!!!!!!!!!! A lion cub is not a domestic kitten - there is always a threat if you choose to handle them.

  • Melissa - 2012-05-15 11:45

    Well deserved. How about I hit you with a camera to get your attention. I guess they won't be visiting SA any time soon ha ha ha ha ha

  • Dawood - 2012-05-15 11:45

    specs on a 1 year old male lion /height : approx 800mm - 1000mm tall (on all fours)/approx 1800mm - 2000mm tall (standing on hind legs)..weight : approx 120 kgs.. AND THIS WAS A SO CALLED CUB.