facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Woman mauled by cheetahs at reserve

May 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM   |   Comments

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, May 5 (UPI) -- A Scottish woman who was mauled by two supposedly tame cheetahs at a South African game park says she survived by "playing dead."

The cheetahs at the Kragga Kramma Game Reserve in Port Elizabeth had been raised by keepers and were supposed to be tame enough to allow visitors to pose for pictures and pet them, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Violet D'Mello, 60, of Aberdeen, said one of the cheetahs first clawed a 7-year-old girl. She said she was attacked when she tried to stop the girl's brother from running around.

"They weren't vicious. You could tell they were just excited, but it became serious very quickly," she told The Times of South Africa.

She said the cheetahs, brothers from the same litter, had her on the ground.

"You have to understand, these are big animals," D'Mello said. "Something inside me just said, 'Don't move. Don't move at all -- don't react, just play dead."

Graham Kerley of the Center for African Conservation Ecology said cheetahs are not "tame pussycats."

"The bottom line is, cheetahs are wild animals, and adult cheetahs have the capacity to hurt very badly," he said.

Mike Cantor, the manager of the reserve, said no decision has been made on whether the cheetahs should continue to interact with the public, but he said they will not be killed.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
The FBI announces completion of facial recognition program The FBI announces completion of facial recognition program
2
Identical twin linked to 2004 rapes by new DNA test Identical twin linked to 2004 rapes by new DNA test
3
U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks
4
New York state may legalize recreational marijuana by next year New York state may legalize recreational marijuana by next year
5
Man suspected of killing woman sets himself on fire on Ohio highway Man suspected of killing woman sets himself on fire on Ohio highway
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback