Spier cheetahs maul handler
A cheetah tucks into lunch at the Spier centre. Two cheetahs mauled a handler last week, but she is recovering.
A staff member at the Cheetah Outreach centre outside Stellenbosch is recovering after an attack by two of the fleet-footed cats last Wednesday.
The incident happened at the centre at Spier, said a statement issued on behalf of centre founder Ann Beckhelling.
“We can confirm that there was an incident at the Cheetah Outreach enclosure on May 18.
“According to a preliminary investigation by the organisation, a cheetah handler entered the enclosure in which there were two male cheetahs to retrieve a lure that had fallen into the area,” reported Evelyn Holtzhausen of HWB Communications.
But, he said, a key error had been made.
“Safety protocol – that requires that two handlers enter the enclosure at any given time – was not followed, and while the handler was retrieving the lure, she was confronted by the cheetahs. She sustained injuries and was taken to hospital.”
Holtzhausen declined to disclose the female staffer’s name, but said she had sustained injuries primarily to an arm, her scalp and a foot.
He said: “The matter has been reported to the authorities and a formal investigation is under way.”
May 24 2011 at 12:16pm
At Big Cat Rescue there is a no touch policy and keepers are not allowed in unprotected space with big cats.