A South African conservationist has been killed by lions he hand-reared. West Mathewson, 69, was strolling two white lionesses on Wednesday when one particular of the animals attacked and killed him with no warning, his spouse and children stated on Thursday.
The incident took place on the premises of the spouse and children-owned Lion Tree Leading Lodge, in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province.
Acknowledged as “Uncle West”, Mathewson experienced lifted the lions given that they were cubs and was utilised to interacting with them.
Mathewson’s spouse Gill, 65, was driving at the rear of her partner when the lion attacked. “She tried out her ideal to rescue her spouse, but was not able to do so,” household legal professional Marina Botha claimed in a assertion.
In 2017, the two white lions reportedly escaped from the lodge and killed a guy performing at a neighbouring house, Ngama Lodge. Mathewson mentioned at the time that the lions were not intense and that he walks with them three to four several hours a day.
The lions have be briefly moved to a facility when a selection on their potential is produced. The family members assured they would be “released into the most effective setting offered to them”.
Mathewson is thought to have rescued the lions from “canned hunting” – when animals are hunted in an enclosed spot, or are bred for looking.
Mathewson and his spouse experienced 4 sons and 6 grandchildren.
“The family members is heartbroken by the reduction of their partner, father and grandfather,” the assertion from Botha said. “They uncover ease and comfort and peace with the simple fact that he died although residing his desire, staying in character and with his lions.”