lion limpopo

Photo: Adobe Stock

Woman killed by ‘number of lions’ at private game reserve in Limpopo

A young woman was allegedly killed at a private game reserve while on duty. Authorities are investigating.

lion limpopo

Photo: Adobe Stock

Authorities are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman who was allegedly “attacked and killed by a number of lions” at a private game reserve in Limpopo.

The news as initially shared on Twitter by Neo Motloung, who explained that preliminary investigations are underway. According to Motloung:

“Preliminary investigations indicated the deceased was performing her duties when she was attacked and killed by unknown number of lions”.

Details of the attack still unknown

The 21-year-old woman has allegedly been identified as Swané Van Wyke. reached out to Bela-Bela police spokesperson Sergeant Frans Maponya, who confirmed the incident.

According to Sergeant Maponya, the circumstances surrounding the incident remain unknown at this stage and investigations are underway.

Authorities in Bela Bela opened an inquest case, and provincial police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed to Jacaranda FM that the woman was found “with severe injuries outside the cage”.

“She was certified dead by the paramedics at the scene”.

Lions in captivity in South Africa

There are as many as 8 000 lions in captivity in South Africa; being bred for hunting, the bone trade, tourism and academic research, according to estimates by wildlife groups.

By contrast there are just 3 000 lions in the wild, living in national parks where hunting is prohibited. Lions are classified as a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Lion on the loose in KwaZulu-Natal

Earlier this month, a large lion was on the loose in the northern region of KwaZulu-Natal after allegedly escaping from the Nambiti Private Game Reserve.

However, even though officials from the game reserve joined the search for the lion, they denied that the animal and said all lions at their facility was accounted for.

A search for the lion continued after local workers at a nearby farm spotted large tracks on the ground. The Northern Natal Courier reported at the time:

“Motion sensor cameras were set up in the area and footage captured a large male lion wandering the area. SAPS, members of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and farmers are now searching for the lion, in an attempt to capture it alive. It remains unclear where the animal came from or how it ended up in the area.”

Also read – Seventeen rescued circus lions and tigers begin their new life in South Africa

Additional reporting by AFP.