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 Post subject: KNP Trails Guide Attacked By Lion
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:40 pm 
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Just heard on the radio whilst in Kruger, that walking trail guide has been attacked by a lion on the metsimetsi trails near Tshowane this morning. He has been rushed to a mediclinic in Nelspruit.

Anybody got news?

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 Post subject: Re: Guide attacked on walking trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:47 pm 
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Here is a copy of the media release that has just been issued:


KNP TRAILS RANGER ATTACKED BY LION


A trails ranger working in the Kruger National Park (KNP) was attacked by a lion this morning (Friday October 10, 2008) during a bush walk.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his wife and family and we will do everything in our ability to support him during this time,” said Dr Bandile Mkhize, the KNP’s Managing Executive.

The incident happened just after 08:00 this morning near the Metsi-Metsi Wilderness Trails Camp, situated near Tshokwane Picnic Site north of Skukuza Rest Camp while the group was returning to the camp from a trail.

About two kilometres away from the vehicle, the group encountered a lioness. The trails ranger noticed that the lioness had cubs with her, and decided to give the feline a wide berth. The lioness continued to advance towards the group and the ranger fired off two warning shots.

The lioness then attacked the trails ranger, mauling him and biting both his forearms and scratching him on various parts of his face and body, before eventually letting go and running away.

Calls were then made to Skukuza and a helicopter with the KNP’s medical doctor on board, Dr Pieter Oodendal, was dispatched to the scene to provide further medical attention to the trails ranger, Mr Rudi Lorist. He was then flown to Nelspruit Medi Clinic where he has been admitted.

There were eight tourists and an assistant trails ranger Mr Phillip Gumede with him at the time of the incident. One of the tourists was a doctor and administered first aid to Mr Lorist until the KNP doctor arrived on the scene. All the tourists are safe and will continue with the activity.

Local section and field rangers, who were busy fighting a bush fire caused by lightning at the time of the attack, have been tasked to try and find the lion, but so far they have not succeeded.

Lorist is an experienced trails ranger with more than seven years’ experience walking trails in the KNP.

Guest feedback for him has included:

“I thought it appropriate to let you know that all of us have spoken about the quality of leadership and maturity that Rudi showed throughout our trail, and not just his technical “bush” knowledge, but importantly in his role, his all round personality outside of the pure KNP domain. We thoroughly enjoyed his company and learnt so much from him. Rudi is a wonderful advert for the KNP brand and clearly has a mutually excellent relationship with Phillip. You can be truly proud of these men.” – Feedback from one of Metsi-Metsi Wilderness Trail’s previous guests.

KNP Wilderness Trails have been operating for 30 years without any animal-caused fatalities and very few serious injuries.



… Ends


Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: raymondt@sanparks.org

Enquiries:
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: williamm@sanparks.org

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 Post subject: Re: Guide attacked on walking trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:46 pm 
This really is terrible news :( and I pray for the recovery of Rudi….and commend him for his bravery to protect his guests. :clap:

I hope I do not seem insensitive (not my intentions at all :redface: ) but are they now planning to kill this lion?….I suppose so, if they are looking for her….this will not be right! :cry:
This is the official media release, so I presume one can trust the facts in it….the way I see it, this lioness were merely trying to protect her cubs….please do not shoot her!….when activities like these walking trail were started, many people expressed their concern about what will happen when there are attacks…they said the animals will pay in the end… I did not agree with them and trusted that SANParks will act fairly and reasonable when things like this happen….killing this lioness and her cubs will not be just nor reasonable. :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Guide attacked on walking trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:30 pm 
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A female lion with cubs is one of the animals Trailsguides are taught to avoid. This is because it is their natural instinct to attack to defend their young. In practise it is not always possible to avoid them, as in this case.

The animal will not be destroyed merely for doing what comes naturally. She needs to be monitored to see whether she may in fact be injured. If it is found that she is healthy, she will not be destroyed. If she is injured, she will be treated.

Our prayers are with Rudi for a full recovery!

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 Post subject: Re: Guide attacked on walking trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:42 pm 
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We wish Rudi a speedy recovery. Killing the lioness and her cubs will not contribute to Rudi's recovery. I believe I speak for him when I say that walking in a wild place carries risks which we all accept. We love these creatures and wish them no harm. Revenge is an emotion which is alien to the environment that is our lives and theirs. Rudi's emotional recovery will be enhanced by the knowledged that the cat that savaged him will be safe from human retribution. She was doing what her ancesters have done for millions of years, what even we do, protecting our young. Let it go and let us all live another day.

Frank Watts
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 Post subject: Re: Guide attacked on walking trail
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:34 am 
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Here in Lugano it is 4 o'clock in the morning and I am wide awake. I had a dream or call it a nightmare about walking on a trail in the Park surrounded by armed guards, looking for lions. Obviously what happened to Rudy Lorist yesterday has impressed me more than I would have ever thought. Maybe it's the unknown, a happening that cannot be fully understood until one has experienced the close up with wild animals. Let us hope that this unfortunate accident does not change the ways of living the KNP. Personally I am going to do a full immersion when I visit the park in january. People get killed crossing the street. Going to the Kruger Natinal Park, at least you know what you are up to.
My compliments, I was very impressed that the press release was so promptly published on the forum giving no time for speculations.

My best wishes to Rudy. Being bitten and schratced by a lion must hurt quite a lot, not to talk about the shock.

Now I will try to get another couple of hours of sleep, hopefully without lions!


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 Post subject: Re: Guide attacked on walking trail
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:29 am 
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My prayers and thought goes out for Rudi and his family. May you have a speedy recovery with no complications. :pray:

Does anyone know how Rudi is doing today and what his condition is?

Welcome Frank! And thanks for everything you have said. I so agree!!
Lets not forget, the park is there for the animals to live in as natural an environment as possible. That is why we all go to the park is it not? To see them in their natural habitat.
But on walking trails - we enter into their domain and should respect that.

Thanks therefor to Rudi and other rangers for risking their lives to give us the privelidge to go on these walks. You are indeed very brave. Hats off to you guys. :clap: :clap:

But I agree, please don't harm the lioness. Every mother and father's natural instinct is to protect our "offspring"

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 Post subject: Re: Guide attacked on walking trail
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:32 am 
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Yolandé, thank you for asking! I called the clinic now and spoke to his ward sister, and she says he is doing really well :D

She said they did the stitching in theater yesterday - and she told me again, he is doing really well.

That is such great news!

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Trails Ranger Attacked By Lion
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:09 am 
Apparently a cat’s bite is the second most “poisonous” bite you can get…that of a human rates first.
I once got badly bitten by my own domestic cat (first of 2 incidents…. never intervene in cat fights :roll: ) and even though his teeth were cleaned a month before the bite, and I immediately went on antibiotics after the attack, my leg still got seriously infected and I ended up in hospital….one can just imagine the dire consequences that a bite from a wild cat, like this lion, could have :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: KNP Trails Ranger Attacked By Lion
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:31 am 
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It is a miracle that Harry Wolhuter survived in those days before antibiotics and also that it took a few days before he was admitted to hospital !

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 Post subject: Re: Guide attacked on walking trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:01 pm 
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I am really interested in the circumstances surrounding this incident .

ndloti wrote:
It is interesting that he managed 2 warning shots .
I have read that a lioness with cubs usually would attack with much determination and speed and that the chance to fire a warning shot , let alone 2 , is unlikely .


Usually a charge is a determined affair normally by an injured lion or nursing mother , but to have opportunity for 2 shots ?
Can anyone who has experienced a lion charge give their opinion ?

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Trails Ranger Attacked By Lion
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:15 pm 
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I have never been charged by a lion. Neither have i done the amount of trails you've done, Ndloti, but I have read a lot and from what I have read is that animals don't always read the text book before setting out on a day of whatever it is a lion does. :lol:

Sometimes they turn, some days they don't. I have read numerous times of lions being blown full of bullet holes and still finishing off what they have set themselves to complete.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Trails Ranger Attacked By Lion
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:03 pm 
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Ndloti,

I am a regular hunter for the past 12 years, and I have seen a farm owner shooting 2 bluewildebeest in what sounded as one shot. All two of them where standing next to each other, and died within 20 paces from each other.

Some guys really CAN shoot...... they are trained to. Remember, they are trained to be able to safe the "trail members" lifes in abnormal circumstances.

I think it was possible. :)

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Trails Ranger Attacked By Lion
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:26 pm 
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I only read this article this morning as I have been away from my computer for the last 5 days.

The story made a particular impression on me as I had the priviledge of doing the Metsi Metsi trail in December 2005 with Philip and Rudi. They are both fantastic guides and work instinctively together when leading trails so I would expect that one of the shots would have been fired by Philip.

Both Tok and I remember the trail as our best-ever Kruger experience, with on-foot sightings of black rhino, leopard and many other smaller creatures and would be doing a trail on each visit had we not now got a small person preventing us doing so!

I dont seem to find time to join in on the forum much these days but if this is being passed on to Rudi in hospital, please can you add my best wishes and hope that he is back on his feet in the bush asap.

Maybe see some of you in SA soon as I'm flying out on Wednesday. :dance: :dance: :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: KNP Trails Ranger Attacked By Lion
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:04 pm 
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DinkyBird wrote:
Ndloti, are there that many who have been attacked around? I wonder if there are amongst our members ...

I am interested to know why you ask? Surely if Rudi managed to get two shots in, there was a fair distance between him and the lion to start off with for example?


Before anyone thinks I am stirring or starting a debate to point fingers about the why's , if's or but's ...
The reason why I am asking is I am very interested in animal behaviour and have heard many fireside tales about lion behaviour when encountered on foot . I am hoping for feedback from other keen trailists as well as hunters and all others ....

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