Gqeberha captive predator park employee killed by tiger

Posted by Anita Froneman on 20 June 2021

David Solomon, an employee of Seaview Predator Park in Gqeberha was killed by a Siberian tiger on Wednesday, June 16.

The Park released a statement saying the fencing in the enclosure housing two tigers, Jasper and Jade, was being repaired when Jasper jumped the exterior fence and got out, attacking Solomon.

“We confirm that David obviously had bite marks but it would seem that Jasper broke David’s neck when he pulled David off the fence. Jasper then proceeded to jump the exterior fence of the next door enclosure which houses Siberian Tigers Judah and Amber,” management said.

“A fight ensued between Judah and Jasper and Judah was killed. Jasper, being an entire male Siberian tiger, wanted the attentions of Amber, an entire female Siberian Tiger.”

The Park, offering “face-to-fur” encounters, calls itself an educational park, where the visiting public can walk alongside the enclosures “enjoying close-up views of the animals, while comparing each species and sub-specie for colour variation, size etc.”

Wildlife conservation group Blood Lions, instrumental in exposing the unethical exploitation of lions in wildlife interactive tourism, commented on the incident.

“This horrific accident is sadly not an isolated incident, as attacks by captive predators on staff, owners and visitors occur regularly. It highlights once again that many of our captive predator facilities lack suitable safety protocols for employees, and where interaction with the public takes place, for visitors alike,” the organisation said. 

Blood Lions also reiterates that the High-Level Panel recommendations recently supported by the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, should not stop at captive lions only but should be extended to ALL big cats in captivity.

Seaview Predator Park said that the large cats are safely contained. “Jasper’s incident is a first at the Park and was obviously fuelled by hormones. Jasper is now quite calm and content sharing an enclosure with Amber and there are no plans to destroy Jasper.”


SA government to take action against captive lion hunting and breeding

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