Dad of woman killed in lion attack: ‘We're not doing well’

2018-03-09 15:46
PHOTO: Facebook

PHOTO: Facebook

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Megan van der Zwan’s parents are battling to come to terms with their daughter’s death.

The 22-year-old died on 27 February after she was attacked by lioness in a game reserve near Hammanskraal.

Megan's father Gerard, told YOU on Thursday that her memorial service, which was held on Wednesday, wasn't a “mourning service”.

“We celebrated her life because she was a wonderful person and a child of the Lord.”

But Gerard didn't want to elaborate on the incident in which his daughter had lost her life.

“I wasn't there, how should I know what happened," he said. The somewhat flat tone of his voice clearly suggests he's struggling to deal with the death of his talented daughter.

“Believe me, I'm not in an emotional state to talk about it," Gerard said.

“We're not doing well.”

He spoke about his daughter's achievements at university and as a choir singer: “She got a degree in information design from the University of Pretoria. She was a member of Tuks' Camerata choir for five years and travelled overseas with them on three occasions.”

Gerard says he's considering writing a book about her life, "but not quite yet".

On Thursday the Pretoria High School for Girls Old Girls’ Association posted a tribute to Megan on its Facebook page. 

An investigation has been launched into Megan's death, police spokesperson Constable Connie Mohanedi told the Pretoria East Record. He said he couldn't divulge any further information as the investigation was "at a sensitive stage".

The fateful day

According to reports Megan and a friend were visiting the popular Dinokeng Big 5 game reserve belonging to "lion whisperer" Kevin Richardson.

They wanted to interview the camp manager. Kevin says they were taking pictures outside the camp when the attack occurred.

He says he and one of his experienced colleagues were talking lions one of their regular weekly walks through the reserve.

“One of the lionesses took off chasing after an impala. She must have run about 2-2,5km before she came across the 22-year-old outside their car.”

Megan was seriously injured and paramedics couldn't save her, Netcare 991 spokesperson Nick Dollman said.

She was declared dead at the scene. It's not yet known who was visiting the reserve with her.

Extra sources:,,

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