Lion Kills U.S. Tourist, Drags Her Body from Car

lion by car safari skukuza lower sabie road, photo by arno meintjes

lion by car safari skukuza lower sabie road, photo by arno meintjes

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A 29-year-old American woman who has now been identified as Katherine Chappell of Rye, New York. She had gone to Africa to further her campaign for animal rights and preservation which was her passion.

Katherine who was also a visual affects editor on the popular American HBO series Game of Thrones.  The vibrant, young, energetic woman was attacked by a lioness who suddenly charged at the vehicle, bit her and dragged to her death in Gauteng Lion Park.

Despite numerous signs and a pamphlet reiterating the dangers of rolling down windows while in the park, she failed to heed the warnings and was taking photos through an open window. After the tragic incident one of the advisory pamphlets was found right next to her seat.

Witnesses say that they saw the lion approach the car from the left side where the woman was taking photos. Scant seconds later, the lion had the woman's body in his mouth, dragging her through the open window and away from the car.

It is believed that the man in the car with her was a guide, and despite his best efforts to beat back the lion during the attack, he only succeeded in sustaining injuries, though these weren't life-threatening. Park workers eventually chased the lion away and paramedics were called to the scene. However, her injuries were too severe and she was pronounced dead.

By all accounts she was on a 'routine' drive through the 20-acre compound containing about a dozen big cats. The park has had prior incidents of injuries, and these incidents were also as a result of patrons failure to heed the park rules, regulations, and warnings. It appears, however, that none of these incidents ever resulted in fatalities.

Scott Simpson, the Assistant Operations Manager of the park, stopped short of blaming the victim, but did state that 'there are numerous signs, and we hand out slips of paper to all guests warning them to keep their windows closed."

Gauteng Lion Park boasts a variety of animals, including lions, zebras, giraffes and wild dogs.

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Nelson Mandela Doing Well After Procedure


Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 23:25 PM EDT, 25 February 2012

Nelson Mandela, 2008JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Nelson Mandela, the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African President has been hospitalized. The 93-year old is undergoing test to identify the cause of an undisclosed stomach ailment.

In a statement, President Jacob Zuma said that Mandela isn’t in any immediate danger, but asked that the press respect his privacy. Mandela has “had was had a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention.”

Mandela became South Africa’s first president of color to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Then President F. W. de Klerk bowed to international pressure and freed the anti-apartheid leader on 11 February 1990 after he had served 27 years of a life sentence.

Mandela subsequently led his party, Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC) in the first multi-party negotiations that resulted in the country’s first multi-racial elections. South Africans duly elected Mandela as president, a position which he held from 1994 to 1999.

Mandela continues to be active in numerous causes including the eradication of AIDS, the disease to which his son succumbed in 2005. He is also one of the founding members of a group of world leaders known as, The Elders. This group is comprised of prominent people of diverse backgrounds and heritage who are dedicated to addressing humanitarian issues from around the world.

The current Chairman of The Elders, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 80, is another prominent South African and Noble Laureate. We recently wrote about his visit to India with other Elders to spearhead a global movement called “Girls Not Brides” which is aimed at ending child marriages.

By contrast, Mandela's public appearances have become increasingly rare which may be a consequence of his health issues. According to the Associated Press, he was last publicly seen at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 World Cup, and met privately with First Lady Michelle Obama when she traveled to South Africa in 2011.

Mandela underwent some “planned, diagnostic tests” and is expected to be released from hospital on Sunday or Monday. Though the results of the tests were not released to the public, the doctors believe that the abdominal distress is consistent with someone of Mandela’s age." In an effort to calm the public Zuma concluded by saying, “We are happy that he is not in any danger.”