In yet another deadly tragedy involving captive animals used for entertainment, a young woman working at a South African “game” reserve was mauled to death by lions who were caged there. Now the animals may be killed as well.
College student Swane Van Wyk was working at the Zwartkloof Private Game Reserve in Limpopo on February 6 when she entered the lion enclosure. What happened next is unclear, but other employees heard her screaming and ran to the enclosure. She was able to get out while her coworkers called police and paramedics, but she died from her injuries moments later.
How many or which lions were involved in the incident is also unclear, but now all of them may be killed. A spokesperson for Zwartkloof stated in an interview, “We are obtaining advice from the proper authorities and agents in order for us to make an informed decision.”
'Even though many of South Africa’s captive lions have been hand-reared and habituated, predators never lose their wild nature and this distressing accident once again shows the dangers of keeping lions in captivity.'https://t.co/A8AxK3TmVo @sapeople @YouthForLions
— Blood Lions Official (@Blood_Lions) February 10, 2020
It seems as though the appropriate informed decision would be to retire all the animals at Zwartkloof to reputable sanctuaries instead of caging them for human amusement and endangering their lives as well as those of the ranch’s workers. The facility states on its website that it houses buffaloes, zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, leopards, and others and rents out rooms on site to people seeking a “bush experience.” No reputable facility would allow dangerous contact like this.
PETA has documented hundreds of serious—and often deadly—incidents involving frustrated captive animals. And many more have likely been covered up by businesses that profit by selling wild-animal encounters. It isn’t surprising that these animals frequently lash out as a result of being caged, deprived of everything that makes their lives worth living, continuously forced into contact with humans, and otherwise treated cruelly.
Help us break this deadly cycle. Speak up for animals used for human entertainment today: