A 55-year-old tourist has been hospitalized with serious, life threatening injuries after his arm was nearly severed by a lioness at a game lodge in South Africa.
The tourist, Pieter Nortje, was at the lodge celebrating his 10 year anniversary with his wife when the incident occurred. Sadly, the man made the mistake of sticking his arm through the bars of the cage to pet the animal, despite the fact that there were warning signs all around, and even an electric fence to prevent tourists from reaching inside the enclosure.
His wife Ilze was filing the whole incident as it happened.
In the video, Nortje can be seen petting another lion as he says “If you bite me, then I’m going to bite you back.”
As he is interacting with the male lion, a young female lion approaches the fence where he put his arm through. As she approaches, he waves his arm around in the air and says “Come here lovey, let daddy stroke you.”
Next, the lioness surprises the man by sinking her teeth deep into his arm and dragging him towards the fence.
They never learn pic.twitter.com/KDtWPRYrCr
— African (@ali_naka) April 10, 2019
His wife can be heard yelling “It’s biting him, it’s biting him!” but she manages to keep the camera rolling.
The large animal had a hold of his arm for a dangerous five seconds before finally releasing him.
Nortje ended is now in serious condition at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein and suffering from septic shock, which is potentially fatal.
A spokesman for Tikwe River Lodge, which has 30 lodges overlooking the Sand River, told the Daily Mail that they have never had an issue like this happen in the six years that they have been running the lion exhibits across their various lodges. The lodge took no responsibility for the incident, and said that the man brought the injuries on himself with his foolish actions.
Lioness attack Photo Credit: The Daily Mail
“There are warning signs everywhere. Nortje stuck his hand through the electric fence to touch the lions and was bitten,” the spokesperson said.
A game ranger from another park in South Africa told The Daily Mail, “The man was lucky that the lioness was probably not hungry or not used to killing live prey outside in the wild. Lions are pack animals and hunt as a team so others in the enclosure could easily have joined in and if they had done [they would have] killed him whether there was a fence between them or not. Some people never learn that where wild animals are concerned, keep a distance between them and you.”
Last year, a woman was mauled by a Jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, Arizona after she attempted to hop the fence to take a selfie with the animal.
After the incident, The zoo Tweeted the following warning, “The visitor sustained non-life-threatening injuries to their arm from one of our female jaguars. At the request of the family, paramedics were called. At no time was the animal out of its enclosure…please understand why barriers are put in place. Sending prayers to the family tonight.”
Last May, 72 year old Mike Hodge, the owner of the Marakele Predator Centre in Thabazimbi near Johannesburg, South Africa, was attacked by a lion when he entered its enclosure. The lion was shot during the attack, allowing Hodge to break free. He was then rushed to the hospital and was able to make a full recovery. Surprisingly, he has continued back at the same job, and has not been discouraged by the attack at all.
Last February, a 22 year old woman was attacked by a lion at the Dinokeng Game Reserve in Hammanskraal. She was also in an unauthorized area attempting to take photos with the wild animals. In reality, it isn’t necessarily fair to say that the animals “attaked” these people, considering the circumstances.
The lives of most people are extremely tame and they don’t understand the real dangers that exist in life, even if they are obvious and right in front of their faces. Many of the people who take these careless actions rarely ever think that something can go wrong, and for some people, it ends up being a deadly price.