Volunteer at South African wildlife refuge survives lion attack

July 11, 2013 at 2:28 PM

HOEDSPRUIT, South Africa, July 11 (UPI) -- A student volunteer at a South African wildlife rehabilitation survived a lion attack in which the lion grabbed her leg and pulled her to his cage, she said.

Canadian Lauren Fagan, 18, a volunteer at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Hoedspruit, South Africa, said from her hospital bed she was left with "huge rips" and "holes" in her body, but otherwise survived the attack.

Fagan was in a wildlife center feeding room last week with a male lion named Duma, who was behind bars.

Fagan thought she was out of his reach, she said, but the lion grabbed her left leg through the cage.

"I knew that lions were strong but I don't think you'll understand how strong a lion is until you feel his force," she said.

Fagan's screams brought her colleagues, who fought Duma off with broomsticks, but also attracted Tree, a female lion, who joined the attack on Fagan, ABC News said.

Fagan was discharged from the hospital Monday and doctor said she should be fully recovered by September.

She said she intends to keep working with animals.

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