Former safari park volunteer recounts terrifying lion attack

Posted on 9 May 2023 By Tsoku Maela

According to The Independent, Lauren Fagen, a former volunteer, has recounted the terrifying moment she was mauled by a lion in South Africa in 2013. Fagen was cleaning out the cages of two lions at the Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre when Duma the lion reached through the bars of his cage and dragged her legs through an open gap. Fagen was saved by fellow volunteer and British vet Natalie Bennett, who tried to fight off the lions with a broom.

Lion (Photo by Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

In her new book, Bite Club, Fagen describes the moment the lion attacked: ‘Duma stuck his entire leg through the bars, nearly the full length of it because of how far I away I was. Before I could react, he got me with the tip of his nail into the middle of my right calf. It went right in like it was butter.’

Fagen suffered 10 flesh wounds on her legs and feet from the attack. She started to scream for help and kicked with her other leg, but the lion immediately pulled it through the bars up to the groin. Duma’s female mate, Tree, joined the attack, gnawing at Fagen’s feet.

The attack left Fagen traumatised, and she has since returned to Canada. However, she hopes sharing her story will help prevent future attacks: ‘I hope my story helps people understand how powerful these animals are and how dangerous it is to think they can be tamed.’

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