Conservationist West Mathewson killed by his lions as wife allegedly watched helplessly

Hoas

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Source: https://www.news24.com/news24/south...as-wife-allegedly-watched-helplessly-20200826


Conservationist West Mathewson killed by his lions as wife allegedly watched helplessly

  • Conservationist West Mathewson, 69, was killed on Wednesday after being attacked by his lions at his home at the Lion Tree Top Lodge near Hoedspruit.
  • An inquest docket has been opened.
  • In 2017, the lions attacked Qebekhulu Justice who had, along with a colleague, been collecting wood in the veld.
Conservationist West Mathewson, 69, was killed on Wednesday after being attacked by his lions at his home at the Lion Tree Top Lodge near Hoedspruit.

I think it was just a tragic accident that happened," his daughter-in-law Tehri Mathewson told News24. "The lions are safe and will forever be loved and cared for as he would have wanted.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said an inquest docket was opened following the attack, which occurred at about 08:30. "It is believed that the two lionesses attacked the deceased during one of their usual walks. The incident allegedly took place while his wife was helplessly watching, Mojapelo said.

The police and emergency services were activated and, on arrival, the man was found with multiple injuries. He was declared dead on the scene.

According to Mojapelo, the lionesses have since been moved to another game lodge in the area.

Tehri said the family would release a statement on Friday, but described her father-in-law as a "remarkable man", whose death would be a great loss to conservation.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nneke Ledwaba warned the public and animal owners to be "careful around these dangerous animals to avoid these types of tragic incidents from happening".

In 2017, the two lions attacked Qebekhulu Justice who had, along with a colleague, been collecting wood in the veld in Hoedpsruit.

The man had moved to another part of the veld when he heard Justice scream as one of the lions mauled him while the other watched.</p><p>News24 at the time reported that Justice's colleague had pelted stones at the lions, and they fled.

He had picked up his colleague and they had walked to phone an ambulance. He suffered wounds to his legs, torso, stomach and chest. Justice, a diabetic, died seven days later, although the provincial health department said he had died due to "other diseases"; saying his death could not be attributed to the lion attack.

Mathewson had, at the time, told News24 he didn't believe the lion had been attacking Justice as he would have "been dead in five seconds". He had described the lions, two years old at the time, as friendly and tame, and believed that they had "just wanted to play with the guy".
 

leslie hetrick

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the game the lions were playing was a very deadly one as he found out. you can,t fix stupid. being around any wild animals that can kill you in a heart beat with out any form of self proticion is just plain dumb.
 

Ridge Runner

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I really hate things like this to happen when the intentions are meant to be good.

But reality sets in and I have to say stupid is as stupid does.... and stupid deserves the end results...good or bad.

Familiarity breeds contempt!...Contempt to be stupid! In this case for the gentleman and his wife. My he Rest In Peace and she overcome the mental anguish of the tragic event.

These cats are by No means or Ever intended to be "domestic" furry normal house cat! They are considered to be the Big 5/Dangerous 7 for a reason! They can be and are DANGEROUS!.

Correct a normal house cat, they'll run off to their comfort zone, sulk for awhile then come out and try to make amends. These Big cats are Dangerous!., Very unpredictable!., and Very temperamental!..

Large animals do not comprehend their own strength in comparison how fragile humans are to them!. What they interpret as normal play and rough housing can be deadly to humans!.; they may or may not regret their playing, but none the less their human playmate is harmed or dead!. And they may or may not be perplex as to why(?)!.

Humans MUST Always be prepared to go, no matter the extremes, to protect themselves from animals that are 2+ more times stronger, more cunning, more powerful, than them!.

Please bare with me as I digress to make my point:

In this particular case, I had a particular horse, one of many particular horses. His name is Prisom Prince, he is a thoroughbred horse, one of two on consignment racing horses. He found humor in stepping on my foot as I groomed him. He also liked to wrestle.

One particular afternoon, as many other afternoons, I went to get him out of his stall. He became so excited, he launched both hind feet with full force at the stall door.

Luckily my fingers were safe from harm and the door and the door stop prevented his hooves and door from impaling me.

Yes , I was Very Pissed, as we had became instant friends, from the moments we met.

However, I controlled my emotions. Has anyone (other than me) ever seen a 1300+ pound horse freeze up, break into a cold sweat, tremble in fear (I mean his whole body nervously shaking)(rather humorous), expecting an onslaught of human wrath?

I proceeded to him, my tone of voice was obviously sounding enraged, rude and threatening toward him, my first drawed back aiming for his head. With malice grabbing his halter, (which was unusually on him). In swinging my fist, I opened my raging fist, there by open handily pulling my punch to a mear "firm" slap to the muscular part of his front quarter. In a firm sort of consoling voicing my disapproval of his actions. To this day I question if he was about to faint or not at the mear reprieve he received.( a proverbial Kodak moment, that description fails compared to actually witnessing this event)(it was rather in a way humorous).

He, in his usual way, immediately apologized to me for his action and controlled his emotions of over excitement ever since that afternoon.

There is a lot more to our story.

Then there was "Bear", registered name: Red Baron Quest. And so many more, tales for a later date.

The point is no matter the trust between people and animals. Humans must Always be prepared for the worst case scenario when it comes to large animals.

My utmost Sincerest condolences to his beloved wife.
 
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Hunter4752001

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My sympathy to the gentleman's wife and loved ones, this is a terrible event for them.
Unfortunately I don't believe it to be an isolated event. Ever since the "rescue" of lions, and other dangerous animals, has become fashionable, the death toll from these animals has been rising. I have seen estimates that a large proportion of lion attacks have been from lions which were "rescued" raised and then released back into the wild. A noble idea on one level but deadly in reality. The animals still had all their hunting instincts now they no longer feared humans. Learned behaviour patterns they pass on to their offspring.
 

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Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Seems there are all too many people finding that out in our world today.
 

sestoppelman

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Sad for all concerned. Condolences to friend and family.
 

flatwater bill

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Several high profile killings or maulings by great cats over the years. Remember the "Born Free" saga? Husband suffered a mauling by a lion, lady eventually killed by a lion or leopard. Animal Crackers made it sound like a random attack, but insiders said her own cat killed her. Similar to this story. And not too many years ago the Sigfried and Roy magician : life compromised by an attack. In each case, it is difficult for victims or family to acknowledge that beloved pet may be the culprit. I personally would not fully trust a great cat...anyway.....sad all around, but at least not a child in this instance.................RIP....................FWB
 

wesheltonj

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My condolences to the family. But just remember even your pet house cat, once you're dead will eat you.
 

Hunter-Habib

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This is exactly what happens when dangerous wild animals are treated as anything but ... Well , dangerous wild animals .
 

Bert the Turtle

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I’ve still got a 4 inch scar on my belly from where my house cat clawed me 20 years ago. Hanging out petting him relaxed as could be when he suddenly apparently remembered he had an appointment, deployed his claws for traction, and sprinted off at top speed. Cats of all sorts are killers and well equipped for the job. I like cats and I’m willing to take my chances with a house cat- for the most part they are docile. But I honestly don’t want any part of what a house cat can dish out let alone a lion.
 

Doug3006

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Remember the woman whose pet chimpanzee horribly mauled her a number of years ago? The chimp simply snapped and turned on her. These tragedies should serve as a warning that wild animals are just that…wild. But the lesson seems to be lost on too many people. Just ask a Park Service employee who has spent any time in Yellowstone. Some people who visit the park are stupid, naive or must have a death wish. Plenty of internet videos to emphasize the point.
 

Newboomer

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Any wild animal is dangerous regardless of how long they have been around humans. Even after several generations the instincts are still there and can surface at any time resulting in tragedy. How many injuries and deaths have been noted from "domesticated" snakes, lizards, primates, insects and others? Common everyday animals such as equines, canines, felines, bovines and other species occasionally wreak havoc

Case in point, a big rooster we had that relished chasing little kids, jumping on their backs and pecking. He became Sunday dinner.
 

Just Gina

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Any wild animal is dangerous regardless of how long they have been around humans. Even after several generations the instincts are still there and can surface at any time resulting in tragedy. How many injuries and deaths have been noted from "domesticated" snakes, lizards, primates, insects and others? Common everyday animals such as equines, canines, felines, bovines and other species occasionally wreak havoc

Case in point, a big rooster we had that relished chasing little kids, jumping on their backs and pecking. He became Sunday dinner.
I think I grew up with one of your rooster's relatives! Omg that wretched thing anyway! Glad when that one was gone too! ;)
 

Daggaboy375

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One should show a healthy respect for anything that is above you in the food chain.

"tame" or not.

DB
 

Kevin Peacocke

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We have a P2 bengal called Ruben, beautiful cat, but he has taken a great dislike to the female cat and attacks her. So my daughter came up with a great plan - CBD oil to calm him down. So I am cradling Ruben and talking calmly to reassure him as she approaches with the dropper to give him his minute fix. Well old Ruben got the skitts and there is no way I could restrain that strength. CBD went flying and Ruben ended up hanging by his claw through my to lip. Meanwhile the lab Ambrose snuck in and licked up the puddle of oil and it put him out for hours. Moral of the story - the wild is always there, even when diluted.
 

WAB

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Perchance did someone capture this on video?
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Perchance did someone capture this on video?
No unfortunately, but we get a lot of entertainment out of these cats. This is the same one who loves elephant dung, rubs himself against it.
 

baxterb

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I don't trust my mackerel tabby, much less a lion.

Harry Selby used to check in with George Adamson when passing through the area and told me that you never wanted to turn your back on Elsa otherwise you'd end up flat on your face when she jumped you from behind. I was forwarded a story by Harry that claimed Elsa was in fact poisoned and did not die from tick fever/parasite. This due to people getting sick of her being aggressive with them.

George ended up shooting his lion Boy (which I think was Elsa's son?) because he attacked and killed a staff member.

By the way, if you read his book, you get the sense that the Elsa fame and attention was all Joy's doing. I think old George Adamson just wanted to live in the NFD with his lions and to hell with all the hoopla...
 

PerH

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Not a cat
But in Kolmgården ,Sweden a female keeper was attacked and killed by one of her supposedly tame wolf's a few years ago. But ara claim it is not relevant due to their socalled ethical belief is that it was a attack on a " prison warder" .
 

Whitebear995

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He should have stick a few finger in the Lion's eyes...That would have bought him some time.
 

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