A provincial conservation agency in South Africa says a sick lion killed an employee at a wildlife park. The Ezemvelo agency says the attack happened in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park in KwaZulu-Natal province on Monday.
The 45-year-old employee was attacked about 7:30 a.m. after walking to a river to turn on a water pump servicing a nearby tourist lodge. Mntambo says the female lion had tuberculosis and a leg injury, preventing it from hunting wildlife. The Ezemvelo agency says park staff killed the lion.
The sick lioness, which was within four meters from the victim, attacked him and by the time his colleagues destroyed the lioness he was severely injured and he later succumbed to his injuries.
The 45-year-old victim worked at the park for more than 16 years as a water attendant.
The organization has arranged for the staff member who was with him to undergo trauma debriefing and the family to receive supportive counseling
The CEO of Ezemvelo, Dr. MD Mabunda issued a statement saying, "It is not normal for a lion to attack a human being. This seldom happens when a lioness is protecting young cubs or is sick and unable to hunt.”
According to the Park Management plan, sick lions or lioness are destroyed to minimize such incidents.
The name of the victim had not been released.