South Africa: In a saddening incident, a well known South African conservationist West Mathewson, who was also popularly called “Uncle West” was mauled to death by the lions he fostered. The incident took place at his Lion Tree Top Lodge in the northern province of Limpopo.Mathewson was on a morning walk with his two white lionesses on Wednesday when one of them attacked him without a sign.
According to a report in the British daily, the 69-year-old conservationist had raised the lions since they were cubs. Mathewson’s wife 65-year-old wife Gill was driving behind him when the lion attacked him.”She tried her best to rescue her husband, but was unable to do so. The family is heartbroken for the loss of their husband, father and grandfather. They find comfort and peace with the fact that he died while living his dream, being in nature and with his lions,” the report quoted.
In 2017, the two white lions sneaked from the safari and killed a worker in a nearby area. At that time, the conservationist argued that the animals were not aggressive and he walked with them for several hours a day. The report suggests that the lions were rescued by Mathewson from “canned hunting” which refers to trophy hunting of animals in an enclosed area.
Mathewson is survived by wife, four sons and six grandchildren.Meanwhile, the lions have been shifted to another facility. Authorities said a decision on their future will be made soon.