Just because a lion is in a cage doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe, as evidenced by what happened to a woman posing for photos at the Nyati Eco Game Park in Headlands in Eastern Zimbabwe.
The Eco Game Park boasts of being a wildlife conservation park and a sanctuary for old, injured and endangered animals. Its website indicates the park gives tourists the opportunity to walk with white lions.
But in this instance, the lions were caged.
Ngoni Hera, 36, of Rusape was rushed to the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare after suffering serious injuries to her right hip and arm when a white lion mauled her through a chain-link fence with its paws and teeth, The Zimbabwe Daily and ZWNews reported.
As her boyfriend, Lovemore Sakarombe, 36, was taking photos of her, Hera leaned against the fence, which proved to be a huge mistake. Lions suddenly emerged from the bushes and one of them attacked, causing deep flesh wounds.
“Many people love to show off in front of big cats, and this is the first incident in which a person has been injured,” an eyewitness told ZWNews. “She went too close to the fence and the sleeping lion jumped and sank its teeth and claws into her buttocks and right arm.”
ZWNews wrote that “safety standards at the park are reportedly not very good,” adding that there are “not enough warning signs to keep people away from the lions.”