Reported by Jenni Evans, Mpho Raborife
Fron News 24
The US embassy in South Africa has confirmed that the woman who was killed by a lion at the Lion Park in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon was an American citizen.
”Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we will not be releasing the name or commenting any further,” the embassy tweeted.
“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased in this sad incident.”
It said the embassy in Pretoria and Consulate General in Johannesburg are providing all possible consular services.
The park’s assistant manager Scott Simpson told reporters on Monday night that the lioness attacked the woman through the front passenger window of a vehicle at around 14:30.
The man who was driving the vehicle was injured while trying to fight the lioness off.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini told News24 on Tuesday morning that he would have further information on the man’s condition a little later in the morning.
Simpson said they had 200 000 visitors a year and this kind of thing rarely happened.
In March an Australian citizen was scratched because his window was also down. Several signs at the camp warn visitors not to open their windows. Days later a 13-year-old boy was attacked by a cheetah at the park. The boy, from an informal settlement nearby, had reportedly cut through the wire fence and was taking a short cut through the park on his bicycle when a cheetah pounced on him. Rangers intervened but he was bitten twice and treated in hospital.
Simpson, who spoke to some of the witnesses, said the couple had been warned by other people in the park to roll up their windows during the drive. Camp staff were on the scene in seconds and chased the lions away. They performed CPR on the woman before paramedics arrived shortly afterwards, but she died on the scene.
An inquest would be held by police.
Scott said the lioness would be moved to another enclosure but would not be put down.