17 March 2017

South Africa: New Zealand Dad Fights Off Cheetah to Save Son in KZN

A New Zealand father managed to save his teen son after the youngster was reportedly attacked by a cheetah at a safari park in Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal.

According to Radio New Zealand, Dave Driver and his family were touring the Emdoneni Safari Park on Wednesday.

The family, along with a group of around 20 other people, was allowed to pet two cheetahs while guides supervised.

Driver's wife Mandy, according to the radio report, said that as they left the enclosure, a cheetah that appeared restless walked through the group and pushed her 14-year-old son Isaac to the ground.

The radio report quoted Mandy as saying her husband leaped into action, took hold of the cheetah and held it down.

The teen reportedly sustained injuries to his back and shoulder.

Wild animals 'unpredictable'

Speaking to New Zealand's RadioLIVE, the boy's aunt Marie Askew said that her brother-in-law had to quickly leap into action to save his son.

She added that the cheetah had bitten the teen a few times before it was restrained.

In a report in the New Zealand Herald, Massey University lecturer in animal behaviour and welfare Rachael Stratton said the attack could have been worse.

She said cheetahs aren't usually aggressive, but because they are wild animals they can be unpredictable. She said there are a variety of reasons why the cheetah would have attacked.

When contacted for comment, a receptionist at Emdoneni said a manager would return News24's call.

Despite numerous attempts and follow-up calls with Emdoneni, no comment was provided.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo also did not immediately respond to News24's request for comment.

Source: News24

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