Inquest docket opened into death of boy mauled by cheetah in Free State


Inquest docket opened into death of boy mauled by cheetah in Free State

Petru Saal | 2017-03-23 12:43:59.0

A cheetah in full flight.

Image by: Anton Ferreira

An inquest docket has been opened to determine if anyone should be held accountable for the death of a three-year-old boy who was mauled by a cheetah at the weekend.

Police spokesman Colonel Motsani Makhele said the inquest would be held to determine whether anyone would face criminal charges after the incident at Tiger Canyons near Philippolis in the Free State on Saturday.

Conservationist and filmmaker John Varty elaborated on the attack in a post on Facebook on Monday.

“The victim is a 3 year old son of one of the workers …. the male cheetah attacked the kid causing extensive injury to his neck and head.”

Varty said that a “large amount of booze” was smuggled into a worker’s compound on the previous night and a gate preventing the cheetah from gaining access had been “carelessly left open”.

“On the (Saturday) morning the cheetah entered the compound through the open gate … The victim’s mother did not pay attention … she allowed the 3 year old boy to play outside the house unattended.”

According to Varty the cheetah would not be harmed, as the attack was his fault.

“I should have moved the women and children to a safe compound a long time ago,” Varty said on Facebook.

A helicopter was hired to fly the critically injured boy to hospital in Bloemfontein but he succumbed to his injuries.

Makhele explained the inquest process: “An inquest docket is a preliminary investigation into someone’s death to prove whether it was the responsibility of any individual.

“It can be decided that no one is responsible or it can be said there was negligence from someone. Then we can change it to culpable homicide or it can be that someone intentionally caused the death then we can change it to murder‚” said Makhele.

“The post-mortem report will accompany the investigation. No one has been taken in for questioning as of yet. Other departments will also be inspecting the farm area and the proximity the animal lives to the farm workers.”

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