Game reserve worker, 21, is mauled to death by lions after being attacked in their enclosure in South Africa
Feb. 08, 2020
A 21-year-old game reserve worker has been mauled to death by lions after they attacked her in their enclosure in South Africa .
Swans van Wyke is believed to have escaped from the cage and alerted staff to the attack with her screams, before collapsing by the gate with devastating injuries.
Paramedics rushed to the scene and found her covered in blood with deep bite and claw wounds but despite their best efforts the woman was certified dead at the scene.
Police have launched an investigation at the game reserve at Bela-Bela in Limpopo Province, South Africa, but said they had no idea how many of the lions had attacked her.
An inquest has been opened and police are interviewing staff at the unnamed game lodge.
South African Police spokesman Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said: 'Our initial investigations show she was performing her duties when attacked by an unknown number of lions.
'The circumstances leading to this tragic incident are still unknown at this stage.'
The police said they could not comment on whether the lions involved would be destroyed and that it was a matter for the game lodge and the authorities that monitor game lodges.
It is understood that game lodge staff who witnessed the aftermath and colleagues of the dead woman will be offered counselling and time off to get over the trauma over the attack.
There are dozens of game lodges in the area and the exact lodge where the lions turned on their keeper has not yet been revealed but it is understood to have closed its gate to the public.
In August last year game lodge owner Leon van Biljon, 70, known as 'The Lion Man' was mauled to death after he went into his own lion enclosure to try and fix a broken fence.
The three lions responsible Rambo, Nakita and Katryn were shot dead afterwards at the Mahala View Lion Game Lodge at Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, in South Africa.
In May 2018 tourist Pieter Nortje, 55, was lucky to survive a mauling when he put his hand into an enclosure at a predator park and had his arm savaged in a bite from a lion.
In the same month UK born lion park owner Mike Hodge, 72, who owned the Marakele Predator Centre in Thabazimbi, north of Johannesburg was attacked by a lion in an enclosure.
He suffered horrific injuries in an attack captured on video as he was dragged into the undergrowth to be devoured and was only saved when a ranger shot the lion dead.
In February 2017 an unknown US woman was mauled to death by lions during a visit to a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa run by Kevin Richardson – the so-called 'lion whisperer'.
The 22-year-old had got out of her car to photograph wildlife when she was attacked at the popular Dinokeng Game Reserve near Pretoria by lions who had been chasing impala.
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