Tourist killed by lion at SA lion park

An American tourist sitting in a car with it’s passenger side window open was killed by a lioness at a South African lion park. The lion jumped through the open window and bit the woman fatally, wounding the driver in the process. Visitors are told to keep windows up for a good reason, this shows.

While tragic, they have safety rules for a reason.

I love the second video, where the lion opens the car door. “I didn’t know they could do that!”

Weird, I drove right by that park back in February. We were on our way to a bigger park that had more lions to see.

Driving around in the midst of predatory lions with open windows when the specifically tell you not to do just that.

Sorry to say but some stupid people just deserve what they get. Most likely some arrogant PETA moon bat from the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

In all the game parks I visited, we were in open-air vehicles and had no problems. Luckily, everybody in the vehicles obeyed the instructions of the guide: “When lions are about, do NOT move!”

What you visited was presumably a large game park with lions that roam wild, which means they don’t associate humans and vehicles with food. So it’s mostly safe to ride in open vehicles. The Lion Park where this happened is more like a zoo - the lions are relatively small enclosures, and they’re accustomed to humans and regularly fed by humans. Which is why visitors are told to keep their car windows closed.

That reminds me of a time when I went to Pilanesberg Game Reserve with a friend, a few years ago.
It’s the usual game reserve setup, you can drive around in your car and see all the ‘big five’, plus all kinds of others. Somewhere in the middle of the park, there’s a fenced off area where you can park up, get out and walk around. There’s a nice view, picnic area etc.
So me and my friend got out and wondered in (we were the only ones there at the time), had a good walk around, and stopped by some bushes. We heard a growl coming from the undergrowth. :eek: My friend thought it was me, messing around.
“Was that you, Badger?”
“Uh, no.”
“Seriously? Because that’s not funny.”
“Seriously. I think there’s something in those bushes.”
“Uh, I think we should go now.”
sound of undergrowth moving
“OK, slowly now. No sudden movements”
more growling

(If you have a cat, think of the growling sound they make when they’re scared/pissed off. Then imagine it ten times bigger, you’ll get the idea.)

We backed away slowly until we were well away from the bushes, then walked as fast as possible back to the gate and into the car. We never saw anything and I have no idea what it was, but it was definitely some sort of cat (a fairly big one, from the sound of it), it definitely shouldn’t have been there, and it definitely wasn’t happy with us being there. I have honestly never been so scared in my life. :frowning:

You can rest for the remainder of the day, since you must have expended a lot of energy to jump to that far of a conclusion without any particular evidence.

Looks to me like the tour guide is the one who should be blamed, he should have known better. It sounds like it was not a park-specific guide, but a guide from outside. Both the passenger’s and the guide’s window were open. I think if he had wanted the windows closed, he could have enforced that.

No effort extended, but thanks for your concern.

The difficulty was deciding on which of the 5 or so thoughts that ran thru my head to use. The runner up was this is another candidate for the Darwin Awards.

On a serious note, I agree with you on the tour guide driver. I am sure he told her several times to keep the windows up and she didn’t. I know the type. Arrogant, feel they know better than the tour guide does, knows the rules are for everyone else, etc.

Um…I’m not sure you do agree with him, since he pretty much said the opposite of what you said.

If I understand your logic it goes like this: This was stupid. People who disagree with me politically are stupid. Therefore this person must have disagreed with me politically. I hate leftists. I hate Communists. Therefore leftists are Communists. Does that sum up your thought process? Or did the victim’s political tendencies appear somewhere in the news article?

Hopefully the publicity over this will encourage others to be more diligent in obeying the safety rules of the park. I can understand wanting to take a photo without the window in the way. I might even be tempted to roll it down a crack to get a shot, but not now.

I have been on (guided) ‘safaris’ to Kenya and Tanzania and seen quite a few lions, and in general they are either moving slowly or lying down. So I can see why someone may not conceive of them being a ‘clear and present’ danger.

I have also seen a lioness stalk and chase a Thompson’s gazelle, and while she didn’t catch him (Tommies are fast little buggers and she was alone), the speed and grace and utter power demonstrated close-up in just a few seconds (she had been litteraly lying down next to our passenger door) was quite convincing that this was a very dangerous animal.

At a guess that lady had probably seen the lions laying around and sleeping (which lions do a lot during the day) and simply did not equate them to a threat…to her misfortune and demise.

At the risk of piling on, I 'll note that PETA is fanatically opposed to the use of captive animals for entertainment, so the odds of finding a PETA member at a “zoo-like” animal park are vanishingly small.

Just because something is called a park, doesn’t mean it’s safe to act like a dumbass there and disregard safety rules. Those safety rules aren’t just there to keep you from having fun. Just because something is a park doesn’t mean there’s nothing dangerous there. Lions are obviously dangerous. Things like bison, bears, and hot springs at Yellowstone National Park are dangerous.

JURASSIC Park. :wink:

They might be there to release the animals. :smiley:

I know what you mean!

I was at a local wild animal park, and they had it set up so you could walk around and the lions/tigers/oh my were separated from the public by only a fence.

I was standing there when a lion snuck up on me (you can’t hear them stalking - they are remarkably quiet for something so large) and was just the other side of the fence. It let out that <cough> that lions do when hunting. It chilled me to my core in a way nothing else had. A deep fear in my gut that said “run away now!” The fear was way beyond what you’d expect from the actual danger level.

I think it is something that is hardwired into our DNA, because I had never learned to be scared of that. Had never even heard it in “the wild” before. It was seemingly atavistic.

Some of the animals in the petting zoo make me a bit nervous. Being in growling range of a lion is several orders of magnitude worse.

True enough. My point was that cats track movement and that following the guide’s instructions is important. The only close call we ever had was at Chobe, when the idiot sitting in front of us jumped up to take a photo of a lion pride on our left. What he didn’t know is that there was a lioness lying in the shade of our vehicle on our right. When he jumped up, so did the lion, snarling and startled. Scared the shit out of me.

I assume because you’re here to tell the tale that you managed to suppress the urge to run. Running triggers a chase response in predators.

Anybody who’s played with a kitten who thinks he’s a lion knows the look in the eye that they get. Imagine that in a much larger animal and it’s not so cute. When we adopted our first greyhound, I fell in love with her when I saw her giving me that look but it was because I knew she was play stalking me. I turned and started to run and she was on me before my second step. :smiley: It was a look kind of like this but without the muzzle: That turned into a fun game we play often, my hounds chasing me around the house.

People have a tendency to forget that we are often just prey to large animals. We’re a bit arrogant that way, I think.