Eastern Cape rancher dies after lion attack

The owner of an animal ranch near Addo in the Eastern Cape has died after being mauled by a lion, his family said on Thursday.

Lourens van Straaten, owner of the Addo Croc Ranch, was attacked while repairing an electrical fence in the lion enclosure last Friday.

His son-in-law, Johnnay van Rensburg, said Van Straaten was taken to hospital and pronounced brain dead on Wednesday.

“Yesterday [Wednesday] afternoon, the family decided it was best to switch off the [life support] machine,” he said.

He said this was the first incident of this nature at the ranch since it opened 10 years ago.

Van Rensburg described his father-in-law as an animal lover who grew up with animals at a nature reserve in Addo.

“His [Van Straaten’s] father was once the head of the Addo National Park, so he grew up with animals and knew them well,” said Van Rensburg.—Sapa

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