- Published on 17 February 2017
- Written by Online Writer
A PASSION for wild animals recently almost cost a Rusape woman, Ngoni Hera her life when she was savagely mauled by a lion on the right hip as she interacted with the predator while her boyfriend watched from a distance as she was taken photographs by a guide at Eco Nyati Game Park in Headlands.
Hera (34), of 923 Sanzaguru, Rusape, had been taken out for game viewing at Eco Nyati Game Park, by her lover Lovemore Sakarombe (38), of BC 1286, Vengere, Rusape.
She suffered serious injuries on her right hip following an attack by a caged white lion.
Sakarombe rushed Ngoni to Makuma Medical Centre in Rusape and was later transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare where she was admitted.
The incident has gone viral on social media in Rusape, with various theories flying around.
The Manica Post understands that when Hera and Sakarombe arrived at Eco Nyati Game Park, they paid their entrance fees and were directed to a section where domesticated pets are kept.
There are two species of lions at Eco Game Park, namely the brown ones which are kept in a standard fence and no one goes into the fence, even the guides, as they are very dangerous, and the white lions, perceived to be friendly, which are kept in a separate standard fence where tourists are allowed to enter, with guides, guiding the activity. It is this fence, where other tourists were interacting with the lions that the incident which has become the talk of Rusape, occurred. Sakarombe refused to comment on the incident that left his lover with stitches on the hip, referring The Manica Post to the “one who gave you the pictures and the story in the first place”.
“No comment. Boss, you have to get facts from the person who gave you the photos, please don’t call me,” said Sakarombe, who is popuolarly known as Divine.
When The Manica Post insisted that he explains circumstances leading to the attack as several theories were swirling.
“What story do you want to hear from (me) yet (the) online version of The Manica Post makatonyora. Then hear from akakupa story from the first place,” argued Sakarombe.
Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringa Kakohwa confirmed the incident.
He said Sakarombe made a report about the attack on his “girlfriend” at Headlands Police Station on February 9, 2017.
“Ngoni was attracted by what the other tourists were doing, and decided to get into the cage to have a feel of the lions. Sakarombe refused to get inside,” said Insp Kakohwa.
Ngoni was accompanied into the lions’ den by Enock Makwanye, a guide at Eco Nyati Game Park.
“The two got down on their knees with the victim playing with the lions, which were tied down around the neck with a leash. Robert Mucharambeyi, also of Eco Nyati Game Park, was taking pictures as the victim played with the predators.
All of a sudden, the lion got wild, went around Ngoni sniffing. The ferocious carnivore got attracted to the pound of flesh at its disposal and went for the bite.
“The lion mauled her once on the right hip before letting go. It locked its jaws, and only released Ngoni and darted off after being poked with a stick by Makwanye,” said Insp Kakohwa.
This is not the first time that the Headlands zoo has hosted problematic lions, as some years ago a pride of lions was wiped out after wreaking havoc in the area. In 2013, a Lions and Cheetah Park employee, who had been dispatched to train workers at the private exotic animal zoo, on how to relate to animals was viciously attacked by rabid lions after failing to lure the lions into another pen after feeding them. Gun shots had to be fired in the air while other guides hurled stones to scare away the vicious animals and safely reach the wounded man.