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Lions Kill Owner After He Turns His Back on Them

Employees shot the 3 animals
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2019 1:39 PM CDT
A file photo of caged lions in South Africa.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

(Newser) – The owner of a game lodge in South Africa was killed by his lions when he entered their enclosure to repair a fence. Leon van Biljon, 70, was attacked Tuesday when he turned his back to three lions as he worked, the Mirror reports. "One came from behind and took his neck," a person at the lodge said. "There was nothing anyone could have done to save him." Van Biljon owned the Mahala View Lion Lodge, east of Pretoria, which operates as a safari lodge and offers game drives. "The neighbors from the nearby lodges responded and tried to help the victim," police said, per CNN, adding, "The animals have been put down."

Captive Wildlife Watchdog responded by saying, "Yet another death caused by a lion raised by humans in captivity and used as an 'educational tool' for the public." The director of FOUR PAWS in South Africa said, per News24: "These attacks can be avoided by not allowing any unnecessary human-wildlife interaction. The fact remains that lions are wild animals and no matter how habituated or tame they might seem, they remain unpredictable and instinctive." A spokesman for the ambulance service involved said the lions were shot by lodge employees so they could reach Van Biljon. (Read more lions stories.)

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