American woman mauled to death in South African lion park

Tourist and her companion were driving with their windows down through Lion Park near Johannesburg,
A man walks past warning signs at the Lion Park, near Johannesburg, where a lion killed an American woman and injured a man driving through the private wildlife park, on June 1, 2015. AP Photo
A man walks past warning signs at the Lion Park, near Johannesburg, where a lion killed an American woman and injured a man driving through the private wildlife park, on June 1, 2015. AP Photo

Johannesburg // A lion leapt through a open car window and mauled to death an American tourist at a privately run game park just outside Johannesburg on Monday.

“There was a car driving to the lion camp and the lion did come through the window and bite the lady,” said Scott Simpson, operations manager of the Lion Park.

“The ambulance arrived quite soon, but the lady had passed away,” he told Talk Radio 702.

The 22-year-old woman and another American tourist were travelling through the park, north-west of South Africa’s biggest city, with their car windows open.

The second tourist, a man, suffered serious injuries while trying to save the victim, who was sitting in passenger seat.

The incident is the latest attack at the park, which is popular with both locals and foreigners.

In March, an Australian tourist was injured by a lioness after driving through the park with his car windows open.

Two days later, a 13-year-old from a nearby slum was attacked by a cheetah while riding a cycle through the grounds.

In December 2013, a former South African franchise rugby player, Brett Tucker, and his family were attacked by a lion at the same park and his father reportedly suffered minor injuries.

The park has more than 85 lions, including rare white lions, and a variety of other animals, including giraffes and ostriches.

According to its website, Lion Park guarantees “super close-up animal views” but it does order visitors to keep their car windows shut

The park has previously come under fire for allowing visitors to pet lion cubs.

It was also recently accused of breeding lions for “canned hunting”, a charge it refutes.

The park offers tented accommodation and also hosts children’s birthday parties.

* Agence France-Presse

Published: June 1, 2015 04:00 AM

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