Family shocked by gruesome lion death

Anri Hendriks, Die Burger

Port Elizabeth – The family of the man who was mauled by lions at Addo outside Port Elizabeth have reacted with shock and horror to the news of his death.

“I will miss my child’s sense of humour. Accidents happen but to be mauled by lions…” said an emotional Annette Gilham from Worcester about her son, Jan Frederick Bredenhand, 30, who was killed early on Sunday morning.

“The whole family is stunned, especially his younger brother, Theunis, 24, his two grandfathers and grandmother, who are all taking it very badly.”

Bredenhand, the eldest of Gilham’s sons, was apparently pulled down by a male lion from a pole where he was sitting and dragged into the camp at the Addo Croc and Lion Ranch at about 05:00 on Sunday.

He was then mauled by the three lions, who were subsequently put down.

Rugby party

Gilham said her son, who matriculated at the Worcester Gymnasium, loved animals and had brought snakes and mice home as a child.

Bredenhand’s uncle, De Villiers Visser, who found him the job at the Addo Croc and Lion Ranch, said he was part of a group of people who watched the Currie Cup final in the bar at the farm on Saturday.

“I left at about 22:00 in the evening. I would really like to know what happened after 22:00. When I left, Jan Frederick was still behind the bar counter, working.”

A man who went with Bredenhand to the lion camp on Sunday morning, would only give his name as Simon and would not let himself be photographed on Monday.

“He (Jan Frederick) wanted to show me the lions. It is an absolutely terrible thing that happened. I don’t want to say any more about it because it will damage Addo’s image considerably.”

Simon responded to a question about whether he and Bredenhand had drank a lot on the evening before the incident by saying: “I did drink that night, but I don’t know if he (Jan Frederick) did.”

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