A nature lover who reared two rare white lions from when they were cubs was mauled to death by them in a horror attack.
Conservationist West Mathewson, 68, was playfully wrestling his beloved lionesses Demi and Tanner on Wednesday, August 26, when one of them turned on him.
His wife Gill, 65, attempted to save her husband by distracting the 400lb lionnesses, but they had already inflicted fatal injuries.
He was badly injured and died from his injuries on his way to the hospital.
This isn’t the first time the lionesses have killed someone. In 2017, they clawed a farm worker to death at Mr Mathewson’s safari known as Tree Top Lodge at Hoedspruit near South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
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However, West Mathewson had continued to playfight and exercise them every day, believing they would never attack him.
A lodge spokesman confirmed that Demi and Tanner would “definitely not be put down.”
They added: “West loved those cats as much as he loved his children and spent much of the day with them every day.
“They didn’t mean him any harm and it was just a tragic accident.”
Despite the previous fatal attack, tourists had continued to flock in their thousands to walk with the animals.