Cheetah attack on teen still being investigated
Bongani Mthethwa | 2017-03-17 15:12:51.0
Cheetah. File Photo.
Image by: YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU
The owners of a lodge in KwaZulu-Natal where a cheetah attacked a teenage guest from New Zealand are still investigating the incident.
Ingrid Van Regenmortel‚ manager at the Emdoneni Lodge in Hluhluwe‚ said on Friday they could not comment on the incident until they had gathered all of the facts.
The lodge runs a cheetah conservation project and has cared for injured and orphaned cat species. Guests can interact with cheetahs under the supervision of tour guides.
“As always‚ all necessary safety regulations are in place when visiting our Cat Centre. We unfortunately can’t comment on this incident as yet‚ as we are working on gathering the statements of all parties involved‚” she said.
Dave Driver‚ the father of 14-year-old Isaac‚ had to rescue his son when he was attacked by one of the cheetahs on Wednesday.
His mother Mandy told Radio New Zealand that one of the cheetahs seemed to be restless when the family visited the lodge. It walked through the group before pushing her son‚ Isaac‚ to the ground with “full force”. “[The cheetah] landed [Isaac] on the ground as though it was eating him. It was horrible‚ it was really scary‚” she said.
“My husband just seemed to appear from nowhere — he just grabbed the cheetah‚ pulled him off … and just held it to the ground.”
Isaac sustained injuries to his back and shoulder.
In August 2015‚ a grade four KwaZulu-Natal schoolboy was bitten by a cheetah during a school outing to a midlands conservancy. He was admitted to hospital.