A self-drive lion safari ended in tragedy yesterday when an American woman was attacked and killed by a lion in a safari park outside Johannesburg.
The woman and her male companion were on a self-drive tour around Lion Park with their vehicle windows down. A lion noticed them drive past and attacked, the park said.
CNN quoted Scott Simpson, assistant operations manager at Lion Park, saying that the woman’s companion had tried to fight off the animal. Although he was hurt, he is expected to survive.
The lion fled when staff rushed to help the pair and chased the lion away. They called paramedics but they could not save the woman. Her injuries proved fatal.
Simpson told CNN the park absolutely forbids visitors to drive with their windows open. It puts up numerous signs to that effect and hands out pamphlets warning visitors of the dangers. Other visitors defying the signs and driving with windows down have come to grief before.
The lion has been taken to a second property while the park investigates the tragic incident.
In the meantime, if you have clients heading to Africa (or to lion parks in other countries), advise them to keep their windows up.
Written by Peter Needham