North West man demands justice following alleged lion attack

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A 62-year-old man from Boikhutso Township in Lichtenburg in the North West is demanding justice, after being mauled by a lion last month, while working at a game lodge and predator park in Ottoshoop near Zeerust. It is alleged that Piet Monatle was mauled by the lion while he and his colleagues were offloading lions from a trailer.

It is further alleged that Monatle’s employer fled the scene as he was being mauled, leaving him to be rescued by his colleagues. The employer is also alleged to have instructed Monatle to tell the doctors who attended to him, that he was attacked by dogs.

Monatle says his close encounter with death began with the transportation of sedated lions from Nietverdiend, some 90 kilometres from the predator park at Ottoshoop.

“The sedative usually lasts 30 minutes. When they arrived here they were already waking up. Then he said to us that we should go in and pull the lion by its tail. But nobody knows exactly what happened after that.”

And before Monatle knew it the lion attacked him.

“It then hit me so hard with its paw that I fell into the trailer. And it tried to pull me deeper into the trailer. The people I was with wanted to flee but I begged them to help me because I was dying. They then grabbed and pulled me by my feet. At the time the lion was looking straight into my eyes and it was so close and breathing straight into my face. The owner ran to the van and just said the others must help me.”

Monatle says all he wants now is justice and compensation.

“All I want is for that white man to pay me R3 million, then I will be able to survive, because I’m already old. So it will help me survive because I’ll never work again.”

Man mauled by lion demands compensation:

While attempts were made to solicit comment from the management of the game lodge, they declined, insisting that the incident did not occur on their property.

The Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation & Tourism in the province is investigating the matter. The Spokesperson for the department, Jerry Matebesi explains:

“The department is not at liberty to divulge more information as investigations are still on going. The department would like to inform the public that the sedation, transportation and handling of wild animals like lions is regulated by the national environmental management biodiversity act of 2004. The act requires that any person who intends to move threatened protected species like lions should obtain a permit from relevant authorities

Meanwhile, police in the province have confirmed that a case of assault and contravention of Animal Matters Amendment Act was registered at the Lichtenburg police station. The case will be transferred to the Ottoshoop police station as investigations continue.