The good thing about the story of the American woman killed by a lion
Although my deepest sympathies are with the family of the bereaved woman, there is a good aspect to this tragic story which you may have heard about.
In brief, on June 1st, an American woman was visiting a South African safari park, in Gauteng, in which there are many lions. You drive through the Safari Park in a car and visitors are told, in no uncertain terms, to keep their windows shut. The woman was in a car with both windows on either side of the car open. The car was driven by a tour guide. She was taking photographs of a lion about one meter away from her window when the lion lunged at her inside the car and killed her. The tour guide tried to get the lion off her and was seriously injured but not fatally. Park employees managed to get the lion away but it was too late.
The story is tragic but now for the good part (if that is an acceptable phrase under such tragic circumstances). The safari park management did not even consider putting the lion down because she was simply exercising her natural behavior. The person interviewed on television, Scott Simpson, Assistant Director, gives me the impression that it simply wasn’t in his mind that the lion should be euthanised and quite correct he is too. Too often wild animals in zoos are euthanised when a visitor is hurt or killed even though the animal is not at fault – can they ever be at fault?
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The lion will be moved to another part of the safari park where visitors aren’t allowed and that will be that. As I understand it, no more action will be taken with respect to this particular cat and she will probably quite likely be brought back to the visiting area of the park at sometime in the future.
To be honest …I actually feel very bad for the woman’s family. It’s tragic she was killed (after all she was merely photographing them). Not hunting them. There’s a difference between the two. Sadly, she didn’t heed the warning about keeping windows up at all times. BUT … at least she wasn’t hunting them!!! I have the utmost sympathy for her. The only thing animals…should be shot with..”IS” a camera!!! I actually wish it was a hunter that had been killed and not some poor woman taking pictures. So sad 🙁
I totally agree with you. Shame it wasnt a hunter. There are enough of them to feed all the lions in the world for a day or two no doubt. Including, sadly, the king of spain.
Hi Marc. I hope you are your family are well. Yes, trophy hunters are increasingly criticised on the internet – good. There is no place for them nowadays.
Wonderful to see you, Marc.
My condolences to the family of this young woman. How tragic that her death could have easily been avoided had she followed safety instructions.
I hope the driver who tried to help her makes a full recovery and doesn’t sustain any lasting injuries.
I’m so glad to hear the Safari Park are not even considering euthanising the lioness. I share their opinion that people shouldn’t be surprised when wild animals behave like… well, the wild animals they are.
I did have a hard time believing that a person would drive through with the windows down. This isn’t a Disney movie. I’m glad to hear that the lioness will not be put down. I’m surprised the tour guide didn’t say something before.
Poor foolish woman. She paid the price for her complacency with her life.
My opinion is that, unless you have massive training, you should never underestimate the capabilities of a wild animal and should never let your guard down.
Absolutely, yes. She just had the wrong attitude towards lions. She forgot they are potentially very dangerous and was focusing on the photo opportunity.
I saw this also, and was surprised and glad to know that they weren’t going to put the lion down for the stupidity and arrogance of people who don’t realize the reasons for warnings to keep windows up, and stay in their vehicles.
These incidents are always tragic, and usually preventable.