SANParks says lion attack did not happen at its park

Mike Hodge, pictured with wife Chrissy. Picture: Facebook

Mike Hodge, pictured with wife Chrissy. Picture: Facebook

SANParks says Marakele National Park does not have animals in enclosures as tourist attractions.

South African National Parks (SANParks) said on Wednesday that a recent lion attack in the Thabazimbi area of Limpopo happened in a privately owned animal sanctuary called Marakele Predator Park and not the Marakele National Park as some media reports had suggested.

A 72-year-old man, Michael Hodge, was mauled by a lion in the Thabazimbi area, and the attack was caught on a video that has since gone viral.

In the video, the man who is said to be the owner of the game farm is seen walking behind the lion. A few seconds later, the lion chases him, attacks him and drags him into the bushes.

Watch the video below:

Hodge, reportedly a British national, survived the attack, but the lion that was reportedly hand-reared since birth was put down.

READ MORE: Lion that mauled park owner was shot during the attack

Following the incident, Marakele National Park has been inundated with phone calls from visitors enquiring about the incident. Park manager Mphadeni Nthangeni said in a statement: “We want to put on record that the incident happened in the predator park situated about two kilometres from Marakele National Park … and it is not managed as part of the national park.”

He said Marakele National Park did not have animals in enclosures as tourist attractions.

“We would like to wish Mr Mike Hodge the owner of Marakele Predator Park a speedy recovery from his injuries,” added Nthangeni.

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.

 

today in print