OH - that was her? I read an article on this but it didn’t mention her work on GoT.
Wonder why she didn’t exercise basic caution and just photograph through the glass window? In the article I read it said signs are all over the park to keep windows up at all times and they pass out a paper warning to all who enter to do the same.
A Lannister always pays his debts.
What a way to go!
So much this. I feel bad for her family but that was some grade A classic human stupidity, or why we can’t have nice things behavior there.
For me, just knowing lions, gorillas, etc. etc. exist is enough. Sure, I’d like to see them, but I’m not going to burn up a bunch of carbon and then invade their territory to do it. Read the last chapter of “A Sand County Almanac” on this–he eloquently discusses appreciating nature for what it is, versus those that have to “take” from nature.
The linked article says she was 22, not 29. Her youth helps explain why she took the risk of opening her window but makes me wonder how she got the job of being “special effects editor” at an age when most kids are just getting out of college and desperately trying to find any job they can.
I went to collage and graduated with Kate, she was 29. Her poor family.
Thanks for that info. That’s a big error in the CNN article, then.
I’m a bit surprised about this. Yes, lions and other big cats are all dangerous. But Lions especially are pretty lazy.
Out in the wild they would leave you alone if you were inside a car. Unless they are ill or you are a small child (they get very excited about small children) and you were outside the car (or had fallen/jumped into an enclosure), this seems unlikely. Certainly not impossible though.
Add into the mix that this is a park, i.e. an enclosed safari type world and I’m wondering just how well these lions are being treated for one to attack a human through an open car window.
A Jag or Leopard, yes, can see that. But lions in a park where they are (presumably) fed, seems a bit odd to me. I may have missed something, but the CNN snippet I can get in the UK makes the lions look way more aggressive than I’m used to and the site for Lion Park seems to be under too much load at the moment.
…Proving once again that no one is safe from George R. R. Martin.
AFAIK it was a lioness that attacked. It’s the male lions that have the lazy reputation, the females taking on most of the hunting.
It almost happened to me once. I had exited the vehicle to just touch a lion, fast asleep less than six feet from the trail. The “lazy male lion” was lying flat on its side, facing away from me, head rolled sideways, deeply relaxed catching Zs.
He was less than six feet from the door, so I could keep a hand on the inside door handle while reaching him in a crouched position, ready to pop back into the truck at the first hint of anything at all.
I lightly, gently placed my right hand on his right hind quarter. Its muscle instantly twitched. Like electricity. I leapt into the truck as fast as I could, which had been my cunning plan all along, and was prepared to do at the highest possible speed.
I learned several things:
- Lions are spring-loaded. Even sleeping ones.
- A 500 pound Panthera leo can vertically catapult nine feet into the air, while rotating at irrational seeming speed, from dead sleep.
- Although, like it happened to me, it can be nice to have a metal door between you and very large cats, it is not advisable to be partially outside of the vehicle when a huge paw slams it shut.
- Albeit they may look soft, lions feel coarse and prickly, akin to high quality cocos fiber door mats. And they smell like lions.
This lady didn’t just live a cooler life than those detractors I’ve seen on the world wild wubs are, she also ‘died by lion’. Beat that!
I bet those are good pictures she took.
Just as a note, this Lion Park is just outside South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. It’s essentially a drive through zoo without cages. Not at all like a national park.
Just to correct some misapprehensions about lions. They are incredibly dangerous, especially the males. Keep in mind that until they establish or take over a pride, a male lion must fend for himself, whereas no female lion is normally alone.
Male lions do tend to be “lazy”, because they can afford to be, the females hunt for them, but the males are the “big guns”. To use a military analogy, females are the destroyers, males are the battleships.
To the guy who touched a wild lion, that was an incredibly foolish thing to do. That kind of thing is exactly why tourists get mauled or killed. Tell me, did you look behind you or in the nearby bushes? Because that’s where the females would be. Males are sometimes used as “decoys”.
When you’re on a game vehicle and see a lion, all the tourists look at it, all the locals look around for the rest of the pride. Lions are very fast, very strong, and very clever. But,if you’re careful and cautious, and know what you’re doing, they don’t have to be dangerous, even on foot.
Too many tourists have the thought that they look “just like my kitty at home”. After the inevitable mauling there are usually calls to put the animal down, which I think is incredibly unfair.
Another thing to note: lions are scared of humans. Not many lions encounter humans, and all their ancestors who did, died. They can’t distinguish people in the car, to them it’s just a non threatening blob. So, when you touched that lion, what you did in his mind is teleport the most dangerous predator in the world right next to him. Fight or flight, and at that distance, it will always be fight.
You may think you were doing something brave but what you actually did was frighten the hell out of an animal that had done nothing to you.
I was reading a book of diary entries from early colonialists in Africa (mostly Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)), and lions then were like ants. Everywhere. The place was crawling with them. They would regularly attack and slaughter people and livestock, often not even to feed, but for the lols. Every single diarist in that book mentioned the abundance of lions and the family, workers or livestock they’d lost to them.
When people claim that nature only ever kills for food or immediate self-defense, I mention the lions.
And man, do they ever smell bad.
You’re absolutely right. In fact a great many predators kill for fun, and when you think about it, it makes sense. Nature always seems to arrange it so that we enjoy the activities that are necessary for us. Some predators (lions included) will go on killing sprees, slaughtering pretty much anything they can.
That said, lions are not terribly successful hunters (only between 30-50% of stalks becomes kills), so their ability to cause huge carnage is limited. Also, keep in mind that if, for whatever reason they felt they were trapped (e.g. they got into a livestock enclosure, and didn’t recall how to get out) they would be very violent and panicked.
Wild animals do not try and live up to some natural utopia of cooperation and necessity, they do whatever the hell they damn well please.
As a personal note, while I do enjoy lion sightings, I always feel that tourists to Africa are missing out with their relentless focus on the big cats. I find wild dogs far more interesting and engaging than lions, and many people miss out on the smaller pleasures of the bush. How many of you have looked for the “little five”, or the “ugly five”?
As an aside, most people who think they’ve seen the big five are actually mistaken. The big five are: African lion, African leopard, Cape buffalo, Black rhinoceros, and African elephant. Many people tick off rhinoceros because they’ve seen a White rhino. In fact, the big five refers to the most dangerous animals to hunt on foot. The White rhino definitely does not fall into that category. The Black rhino is far rarer, and more reclusive, and hugely more dangerous.
Oh yes! It was a very stupid thing for me to do.
I had deleted the part where I was pointing out how incredibly stupid of me that was, before posting because upon proofreading it looked like I too was saying Katherine Chappell was stupid. And although it may be true, not saying that was exactly my point.
I was sharing the cool story because I thought it had entertainment value, Bro. And to allow sane, risk averse people like you some vicarious living. I was passenger in my friend’s truck not with tourists in a game vehicle in this zoo you know near a huge city. She was showing me elephants.
I was eighteen years old (Hold my beer, now y’all watch this.) at the time and have even done things just as stupid since. Audentes Fortuna Iuvat.
Or just luck of the dumb.
To still your concern for the lions, “my lion” walked off, sat under a tree and yawned. The park said unlucky “Katherine Chappell’s lion” will not be put down. Yay!