JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s lion whisperer Kevin Richardson said he was devastated at the death of a 22-year-old woman who was mauled to death by a lioness at a game lodge north of Pretoria.
In a post on Wednesday — shared on his website and social media sites Instagram and Facebook — Richardson said he was “deeply saddened and shocked” by the death of the woman on Tuesday, at their tented camp in the Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve.
“Our condolences and heartfelt sympathies go out to her family at this very difficult time,” he wrote.
Richardson said he and an experienced colleague took three lions for a walk in the reserve — as they do on a weekly basis — as part of their exercise and stimulation regiment.
“We assessed the landscape for other Big Five animals and as per procedure sent out a notification that we were walking in the reserve.
“One of the lionesses charged off after an Impala and must have run 2 to 2.5km where she encountered the 22-year-old outside the car,” he said.
Richardson said the woman was not a guest at the camp, but had accompanied her friend to conduct an interview for an assignment with the camp’s manager.
He said before leaving the reserve, the two visitors were taking photographs outside the tented camp where the attack occurred.
“I am devastated and my heart goes out to this young woman’s family.”
The Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve was not immediately available for comment.
African News Agency