Tourist Killed in Lion Attack at South African Nature Park
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A lion attack at Lion Park outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, has left one person dead and another with serious injuries, according to park officials via NBC News.
The unidentified 22-year-old American woman was killed when a lion leapt through the window of the vehicle she was riding in and bit her. The male tour guide was hospitalized with serious injuries after attempting to fend off the attack.
"Our staff working at the top of the camp tried to get the lion away from the car," said the park's assistant operations manager Scott Simpson via Tom Brooks-Pollock of the Independent. "Ambulances were called immediately but it was too late."
The pair was traveling through the enclosure with its windows down, according to witnesses via Simpson. Therefore, while it remains to be seen what prompted the attack, it seems that the tragedy could have been prevented.
"When you drive through into the lion enclosure, which is separate from the rest of the park, you get handed a slip of paper at the gates reminding you to keep your windows closed at all times," said Simpson of the park's strict policy via NBC News. "You also have extensive signage absolutely everywhere warning people to keep them shut."
Police are investigating the incident as an accident and the park plans to launch its own investigation.
Despite the fact the park's website states that guests can "get closer to a pride of lions and other animals and still be completely safe," the Independent points out that the attack marks the third at Lion Park in the past four months.
According to eNCA.com, a 13-year-old boy was attacked by a cheetah and another man was attacked by a lion earlier this year.
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