Three Lions Killed After Mauling Owner To Death

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Rangers from the Dinokeng game reserve in have been forced to put down three after a 70-year-old man was killed on Tuesday.

Known for its efforts in preserving Africa’s Big 5 animals, Dinokeng is a popular destination due to its close proximity to Johannesburg. The reserve hosts many visitors who come to experience close encounters with elephants, lions, rhinos and other African wildlife.

Three Lions Killed After Mauling Owner To Death

Tragically, the game reserve was closed for business on Tuesday after reports surfaced that a man was attacked by three lions.

Netwerk24 reports that the attack happened at the Mahala View Lodge, owned by Leon Van Biljon, the man who was attacked.

According to Best Care Emergency spokesperson, Xander Loubser, the rangers who responded to the incident were left with no other choice but to shoot and the lions.

Loubser noted in a statement:

“We received a call of a lion attack at Dinokeng. We received information

that the male (patient) was unresponsive and that a few lions were shot.

We were also informed that the patient was not safe to approach as there

was still a third lion in close proximity,”

Mahala Lodge Lions

He was attacked while fixing a broken fence in the enclosure and was presumably sitting with his back facing the three lions when one of them attacked him by his neck, according to Netwerk24.

Police spokesperson Constable Connie Moganedi confirmed that officers had visited the scene and opened an inquest.

She said the caretaker had seen the victim being mauled by the lions and shouted for help.

Male lion flehmen response – Garonga Safari Camp

Neighbours rushed to assist and had no choice but to put the lions down, she said.

The lodge’s website promoted the lions as part of its attraction: “Rambo, Nakita and Katryn will capture the imagination of anyone visiting”.

It also said Van Biljon offered lion lectures, feedings and game drives for guests.

Rambo – Mahala lodge’s male lion

Fiona Miles, director of FOUR PAWS in South Africa, said all loss of life was tragic and their deepest sympathy went to his family.

She also said:

“However, these attacks can be avoided by not allowing any unnecessary

human-wildlife interaction. The fact remains that lions are wild animals

and no matter how habituated or tame they might seem, they remain

unpredictable and instinctive

The predator’s instinct will seek out certain characteristics and identify

easy prey, i.e. the small, weak, slow and sick.”

Miles said what seemed to be happening with captive animals in facilities where interaction was a regular occurrence, was that they reached a “breaking point” where they lashed out.

Our condolences go out to the Van Biljon family and all those involved.

This article was first published by Wildest on 21 August 2019.

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Sad that Mr. Biljon was mauled to death. Also sad that Mr. Biljon became complacent in the midst of wild animals. He very well could have mended the fence while the lions were compartmentalized elsewhere within the enclosure. Where was this man’s assistants or help? The lions must die so as to not repeat this human predation again. Nothing good comes from this sad outcome.

Irene Leggett
Irene Leggett

Once again, innocent ‘captured’ animals have paid the price for man’s stupidity. Although I’m saddened that a man was killed, I’m more sadder that these three lions paid the price for just being lions. It seems illogical that a person knowingly entered a fenced area and sat with his back to the lions. Perhaps now, the other people will learn to respect the wildlife, its not there for their amusement or to make them make them money…..

Jackie Foster

The ignorance and selfishness of man”kind”

Judy Salt

Bloody ridiculous.

george mira

Oh, by all means, vengeful chimps with lethal weapons – murder every predator for acting in its essential nature. While THIS atrocity of humans killing (not even 1 for 1, but 3 for one!) is so “nature reserve” that it causes this chimp homicidal thoughts. What purpose, what social signal do the decisionmakers in this “nature reserve” case, send to their (NOT my) culture by executing every nuisance? Boers & mighty white hunters need to look at their own motivations. Our bodies, like EVERY body ever existing, constantly sheds, changes, becomes something else. Whatever you bury was merely nutrients borrowed… Read more »

Finn Huxley Thomas

Don’t mess with nature.

Wally Nussbaumer

Sad that the owner was killed, but to kill the lions for being a lion is sheer stupidity!

Busari Idris Olawale
Busari Idris Olawale

They had no option than to kill the lions to save the poor man

Cool Dross
Cool Dross

three asswipes killing nature

Shawn Mack


Lola Ling

It’s sad and proves the ignorance as well for these are not meant to be pets for anyone, they’re wild animal’s with wild animal instincts which shouldn’t have been killed for doing what is natural to them!

Joyce Dannheim

I’m very sorry this happened. This is an example of why humans should never interact with wild animals. He was sitting in the enclosure with his back to the lions. He knew better and now they are all dead because if his stupidity. Very sad