A South African conservationist has been mauled to death by his beloved white lionesses as he took them for their daily walk.
“It is believed that the two lionesses attacked the deceased during one of their usual walks,” Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said. “The incident allegedly took place while his wife was helplessly watching.”
Mojapelo added that the emergency services were called, but Mathewson was declared dead at the scene with multiple injuries at Mathewson’s Lion Tree Top game lodge near Hoedspruit in Limpopo province on Wednesday.
“I think it was just a tragic accident that happened,” daughter-in-law Tehri Mathewson told South African website News 24.
“The lions are safe and will forever be loved and cared for as he would have wanted,” she added. Mojapelo said the animals had been moved to another game lodge in the area.
She described her father-in-law as a “remarkable man” whose death was a blow to conservationism.
In 2017 another man, Qebekhulu Justice, was mauled by lions as he and a colleague collected wood on the plains near Hoedspruit. The second man heard Justice scream and threw stones at the attacking big cats, driving them off.
Justice suffered wounds to his legs, torso, stomach and chest and died a week later, although the Limpopo health department said the cause of death was “other diseases.”
West Mathewson insisted after the 2017 incident that the lions “just wanted to play with the guy” and that Justice would have “been dead in five seconds” if they meant to kill him.