Wildlife volunteer attacked by cheetah in captive facility

Posted by David Henning on 7 July 2021

A Belgian volunteer at a captive predator facility was attacked by a cheetah during feeding. Amandine Lequime was filming outside of the cheetah’s enclosure while her colleague was on feeding duty last month, when the cheetah proceeded to jump on her back, aiming for her throat. She recently came forward with her experience in a media statement from Blood Lions.

The name and location of the facility has not been released.

In a comment, Amandine said: “I lost my balance and fell to the ground, where the cheetah continued to bite and claw my arms and legs until the facility manager succeeded in getting the cheetah away from me. I ended up in hospital for treatment of several deep bite marks and cuts that caused muscle damage and required stitches”.

She subsequently discovered that the same cheetah had attacked the manager two years earlier, causing serious neck and leg injuries.

The wounds sustained by Amandine

She further commented that: “Although the facility pleaded with me to keep the incident quiet, I don’t want other volunteers to go through similar frightening experiences. People need to understand that to be close to wild animals is appealing, but not safe.”

Blood Lions commented that this is not an isolated incident, as many volunteers have been attacked by big cats in South Africa in the past decade. There are an estimated 60 facilities in South Africa that offer volunteering with wild animals that also use direct, hands-on interaction as their drawcard and Blood Lions mention that they are aware of 50+ incidents that have been reported in the media.

Blood Lions added that the latest incident highlights the importance of the High-Level Panel’s recommendations for an immediate halt to tourist interactions with captive lions and other captive big cats.


Gqeberha captive predator park employee killed by tiger


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