His own lions killed the ‘Lion Man’ in South Africa in an unfortunate turn of events.
The ‘Lion Man’ was killed by his own lions whom he called his ‘children’.
We all admire the people who go to a great length to protect lions and wildlife. We also admire their courage and love for the otherwise aggressive animals.
What we admire the most is the relationship they keep with these wild animals. But the sad news is at times, they can be dangerous.
The 70-year-old Leon van Biljon, who was mauled to death by three lions he had raised since they were cubs.’
Van Biljon was killed at the Mahala View Lion Game Lodge near Cullinan on Tuesday.
He was inside the lions’ enclosure fixing a fence when he turned his back on them. One of the lions came behind him and took his neck.
The three ‘tame’ lions were shot and killed by staffers but medics who arrived on the scene could not do anything to save him.
When the medics arrived the man was surrounded by the three lions, he was still alive.
Rambo, Nikita and Catharina
He named the three lions Rambo, Nikita and Catharina and thought he knew them well.
Van Biljon reportedly got the three lion cubs in 2006 and raised them himself.
The incident drew criticism from animal rights activists saying there should not be unnecessary human-wildlife interaction.
Fiona Miles, director of FOUR PAWS in South Africa, said all loss of life was tragic and their deepest sympathy went out to his family.
However, she says, these attacks can be avoided.
“About 60% of all the reported attacks on human due to predator interaction, involved captive-bred lions, rather than cheetahs or tigers.”
News reports say the family of the owner of the safari in South Africa is coping well with the incident.
Van Biljon’s daughter, Leonette van Wyk, 46, told the Pretoria News that she knew her father had lived a full life