Victim 'wanted to walk' with lions

2015-06-03 11:12
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 US tourist that was killed this week by a lion at the Lion Park outside Johannesburg couldn’t wait to walk with the wild cats, Netwerk24 reported on Wednesday.

“The incident happened while she was actually waiting to get a chance to walk with the lions,” Corlien Potgieter said on Tuesday.

Corlien’s husband, Pierre, was the tour guide who had accompanied the US woman on Monday.

"It was an incredible shock. She was a young woman who loved lions,” Potgieter continued.

The woman, who was only in South Africa for two days, allegedly ignored many warnings in order to take photographs of lions through her open car window, News24 reported on Monday.

The lioness attacked the victim through the front passenger window at around 14:30. The US embassy has not yet officially announced the victim’s name.

Pierre was injured after he tried to rescue the woman from the lion. He also had a mild heart attack from the shock, Corlien said, and he is recovering in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Fourways.

"All I can say is that he is fine. His bite wounds were cleaned and re-examined. There is an issue with his heart.

“He is still sedated and confused. He is still struggling to talk or recall exactly what happened."

Corlien, who owns a tourism company in Melville, Johannesburg, said her husband had been working as a tour guide for about 18 months, and visited the Lion Park regularly.

Scott Simpson, a spokesperson for the Lion Park, stressed once again on Tuesday that Marli, the lioness that attacked the woman, would not be put down.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  animals

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