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BRITISH TOURIST MAULED BY 'TAME' CHEETAH

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PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa - A British tourist is mauled by two cheetahs that are supposed to be tame enough to stroke. Violet D’Mello had been petting the 'tame' cats in the petting area of a South African game park with other tourists when they began attacking an eight-year-old girl.
Violet watched in horror as they clawed and bit Camryn Malan’s leg. They then lost interest and began eyeing up the local girl's seven-year-old brother Calum who was trying to flee.
  • Violet said her holiday turned into a 'nightmare' when she intervened and they immediately turned their attention to her.
  • Her husband Archibald was outside the pen during her ordeal – and took these dramatic photos as the attack unfolded. A park ranger at the Kragga Kamma game park later said Mark and Monty must have thought it was 'play time'.
  • Violet said: “It all happened so fast. After his sister was free, the boy ran. As I stopped him, something jumped me from behind.”
  • The second cheetah knocked her to the ground before gnawing at her HEAD.
  • Violet went on: “You have to understand, these are big animals. Something inside me just said, ‘Don’t move. Don’t move at all. Don’t react, just play dead’.”
Just as a guide at the park in Port Elizabeth pulled the cat away – the other joined in, pinning her to the ground and biting her legs. She was only able to escape when other tourists teamed up to pull them off her.
Park manager Mike Cantor rushed her to hospital where she was received stitches for a head wound as well as injuries around her eye and leg. Camryn also needed stitches for leg gashes.
  • Mr Cantor – who raised the two four-year-old animals since birth - said: “Everyone has been a bit traumatised by it all.
  • “I have grown up with these cheetahs and they are not aggressive animals. It is almost like they wanted to play with the woman.
  • “What happened was that the young girl got a bit uptight and then ran away and the cheetah grabbed her by the leg.
  • “The trouble is that cheetahs, like dogs, don’t have retractable claws and so they would have injured as they did so.
  • “The other lady (Violet) went in to assist and the cheetahs probably thought it was a play time.
  • “It was a very busy day at the park that day, which may have aggravated them somewhat.”
  • Violet, from Aberdeen, told South Africa’s Herald newspaper: “This was meant to be a holiday, but it’s really turned into a nightmare.
  • “They weren’t being vicious. You could tell they were just excited but it became serious very quickly.”
  • Big cat expert Graham Kerley, from the Centre for African Conservation Ecology, warned: “Cheetahs are wild animals, and adult cheetahs have the capacity to hurt very badly.”
Source: The sun.co.UK
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