The American woman who was killed when a lion leapt through a window and into a car in a South African nature park has been identified as Katherine Chappell, a 29-year-old visual effects editor who had travelled to the country to volunteer as a wildlife conservationist.
Chappell was killed at The Lion Park, Johannesburg, when travelling through the park’s terrain in a car. She was attacked and killed by the lioness when it jumped through her window, leaving one other passenger hospitalised with serious injuries.
Chappell, originally from Rye, New York, lived in Vancouver, Canada. She had travelled to South Africa as a volunteer to take part in work designed to protect animals from poachers.
The MailOnline reported that Chappell’s sister Jennifer paid tribute to her sibling on Facebook, writing: “We are broken-hearted to share this news with our friends and family: Yesterday morning, while on a volunteer mission to protect wildlife in South Africa, Kate Chappell was involved in a tragic and fatal accident,
“Katie was a brilliant, kind, adventurous and high-spirited woman. Her energy and passion could not be contained by mere continents or oceans. She was very much loved and shared her love for life with those she met.
“We cannot thank everyone enough for the words and support. It means the world to us during this difficult time.”
The Lion Park has not closed in light of Chappell’s death and the lion will not be put down.
ABC News reported that the lioness who attacked Chappell had been mating and had cubs with her, which could have explained the animal’s behaviour. The park has strict rules that all windows must be closed when driving through it.
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