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Fatal Lion Attack on Young Woman in Dinokeng, SA

Fatal Lion Attack on Young Woman in Dinokeng, SA

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Old Mar 3, 18, 5:18 am
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Fatal Lion Attack on Young Woman in Dinokeng, SA

"A lion that mauled a young woman to death was under the care of the "lion whisperer", Kevin Richardson. . . . in his animal sanctuary in the Dinokeng Game Reserve.

Richardson and an "experienced" colleague took three lions for a walk in the reserve on Tuesday and one chased an impala, eventually encountering the 22-year-old woman at least two kilometers (1.2 miles) away."

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Old Mar 4, 18, 4:25 am
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Old Mar 4, 18, 5:34 am
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The article does not indicate if the glamping area was within the conservation area not accessible to the public and/or if it the woman was within a protected perimeter. A sad reminder that animals are not just there for our viewing pleasure.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by NoTravelIsFree View Post
The article does not indicate if the glamping area was within the conservation area not accessible to the public-
"The management of the Dinokeng reserve said the woman was killed "within a conservation section that is not accessible to the general public" but lies within the reserve's boundaries."

It's a strange story. For starters, it is not normal for a lioness to chase an impala for at least two kilometers. She doesn't even have the stamina.

This "lion whisperer" is obviously also a weirdo.

"He said he hoped his hands-on interaction with lions, including caressing and cavorting, would help to highlight the plight of Africa's wild lions."

Huh? Duh? That statement makes no sense whatsover.

The victim and her friend may or may not have been told to remain in their vehicle, or they may have gotten out in good faith. In any case, this guy is directly responsible for the behavior of his sweet little lions. His whispers probably didn't carry two kilometers, but that's no excuse.

Lions don't make good pets. They are large, lethal, carnivorous natural born killers.

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Old Mar 4, 18, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
"

It's a strange story.

Johan
It is a strange story. I just found the article a little vague on details. Like this Lion guy runs a 5 tent glamping section and the women were coming to interview the manager (if I recall). One would think if it is an active game park with Big Five predators, there would be significant safety precautions and anyone coming to interview someone would have a list of safety protocols to follow (for liability purposes if nothing else). I'm not an expert but have been on a few safaris albeit not walking or camping but we generally were in "protected" areas or with professional guides and look out people and not able to wander off on our own outside a compound.

2 km does seem like an awful long time for a lioness to run. I thought they stalked and then had a final burst of speed to catch their prey?
Almost sounds like a patched together story made to fit a narrative. I'm suspicious like that though.

Cavorting and caressing a lion ...more than weird. While I love the Christian the Lion story, you could not pay me to caress and cavort with an apex predator.

Thanks for posting the story.
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Old Mar 5, 18, 11:27 am
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Yeah, lions are stalkers. They lack the stamina to run long distances.

There's probably more to this story than meets the eye.

The camp in question is called Rra Ditau, which apparently means "father of lions" in seTswana. That in itself says a lot about this Richardson's attitude to lions. So of course does the fact that he advertises himself as a "lion whisperer".

Dinokeng is one of these newly minted game reserves that consists of a patchwork of properties large and small. It is somewhat disjointed and a number of public roads run through it in various directions. There are plenty of lodges of all sorts, but the official website does not list Richardson's as one of them.

The lodge appears to be just outside Dinokeng proper, across the road from the boundary, almost on the southeastern corner. There's a "lion and cheetah sanctuary" next door. Richardson may or may not have access to the portion of Dinokeng on the other side of the road (Welgedacht) for some of his activities (e.g. game drives with guests).

Looking at Google satellite images, one can clearly see the cluster of five tents, with what looks like a small lion pen at the back.

My guess is that the lions are kept cooped up most of the time (they are available for commericial and documentary filming, including "dangerous stunt doubling"), and only occasionally taken out to stretch their legs, cavort and caress.

It appears that the victim and here friend were on a private property outside Dinokeng as such (or at least outside the B5 area of the reserve), and had no reason to expect to encounter any dangerous game as long as the lions were in their enclosure. Unless they were recipients of the "notification" allegedly "sent out" by Richardson. Maybe it was only a whisper?

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Old Mar 5, 18, 12:27 pm
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I'm really surprised this story isn't getting more local press investigation/coverage. I suppose that I am not unusual in being in awe of Mr Richardson's ability to cavort with these massive predators. And I can't deny I have enjoyed the scenes of him playing with them. (The antics in a river were particularly endearing.)

But at the back of my mind is always the scientist saying: "This isn't right and it could easily end very badly". So when something like this happens I am very curious to know the details. Is the narrative of apex predators "tamed" by simpatico human a total con? Or was this genuinely a freak event? Or was it somewhere in the middle? Surely there are journos who want to know the answers to those questions?


In the past this operation struggled to get the funding required to keep going. Presumably now there will be no funding forthcoming and it is pretty much finished.
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Old Mar 5, 18, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
the scientist saying: "This isn't right and it could easily end very badly".
Plain common sense will lead any sane person to draw the same conclusion.

Frolicking with "tame", "trained" or "pet" lions does sometimes end very badly, as a quick Google search will confirm (only for those who can stomach it. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!).

Those who believe they possess some kind of supernatural faculty that permits them to uniquely understand what goes on in certain (or all) animals' minds, and therefore to consort with them as equals are probably asking for it to a greater degree that the plain dumb, ignorant or unlucky.

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Old Mar 12, 18, 1:58 am
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I have been told a lot of times by locals that they genuinely believe in witchcraft and other stuff like that. So why wouldn't they believe in a person whispering to a lion...? Animals are always dangerous...goes from dog to horse to lion to elephant and so on. A more obvious story onces happened at the nearby lion park where a woman opened the window of her car and had been killed by a lion in result of that... though it was probably very different from this case now.
Very sad that it keeps happening to people.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by Nils21 View Post
I have been told a lot of times by locals that they genuinely believe in witchcraft and other stuff like that.
Many of them do, and at times such superstitions cause them to commit crimes of bestial cruelty.


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