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Tourist mauled by cheetahs while hubbie takes pictures
Posted: 04 May 2012 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]
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A quick-thinking British holidaymaker played dead to avoid being mauled to death by supposedly tame cheetahs at a South African wildlife park.

Violet D’Mello, 60, was wrestled to the ground by a captive big cat after she entered an enclosure at a wildlife park where tourists are invited to pet the animals.

The shaken housewife, from Aberdeen, was on holiday with her husband Archie, 64, when the terrifying incident happened.

She told today how she was thrown to the ground as two cheetahs mauled at her head, stomach and legs.

Mrs D’Mello, who was rushed to hospital after the incident, said: ‘It was terrifying and happened so quickly.

‘One minute I was in the enclosure with the cheetahs and the next it was biting at my head.

‘I was thrown to the ground and had to play dead while it mauled my legs and stomach.’

A guide at the game park in the Indian Ocean town of Port Elizabeth managed to pulled the second cat off Mrs D’Mello, but even as he did so, the first cheetah rejoined the fray, pining the Scot to the ground and biting and gouging her legs.

It was only when a group of park visitors worked together to pull the two animals off her that Mrs D’Mello was able to make a dash for the petting pen’s gate.

Amazingly, Mrs D’Mello’s husband Archibald had been outside the pen throughout the ordeal from where he captured these astonishing pictures of the attack as it happened.

After the attack, park manager Mike Cantor rushed Mrs D’Mello to hospital where she was received stitches for a wound in her head and was treated for injuries around her eye and leg.

Camryn Malan, 8, also needed stitches for the gashes in her leg, Mr Cantor said, adding: ‘Everyone has been a bit traumatised by it all’.

Mr Cantor explained that he had raised the two four-year-old cheetahs, brothers named Mark and Monty, since they were born.

He said: ‘I have grown up with these cheetahs and they are not aggressive animals. It is almost like they wanted to play with the woman.What happened was that a young girl got a bit uptight and then ran away and the cheetah grabbed her by the leg.

‘The trouble is that cheetahs, like dogs, don’t have retractable claws and so they would have injured as they did so. The other lady [Mrs D’Mello] went in to assist and the cheetahs probably thought it was a play time.

‘It was a very busy at the park that day, which may have aggravated them somewhat.’

Yesterday Mrs D’Mello, from Aberdeen, told South Africa’s Herald newspaper: ‘It all happened in just a few minutes, but it was a nightmare.

‘They weren’t being vicious. You could tell they were just excited, but it became serious very quickly. This was meant to be a holiday, but it’s really turned into a nightmare.

Mrs D’Mello said she needed dozens of stitches after the attack.

‘It really came from nowhere and I was totally helpless. The doctor at the hospital said cheetahs usually aim for the stomach area and disembowel their victims, so I was lucky to be alive’, she said.

‘Both cheetahs were on me and there was nothing I could do.They have sharp claws that stick out of their paws and were really strong.’

She added: ‘I have had umpteen stitches in my head, my leg and along the side of my stomach.

‘We’re back on holiday now but have to reschedule our trip so I can go to hospital next week to have the stitches out.

‘We love animals and especially cats as we’ve had some of our own.I worried about the little children being so close to the cheetahs but I never imagined for a moment they would attack an adult.’

Mr D’Mello said the couple had been looking forward to their trip for months.

Big cat expert Graham Kerley, from the Centre for African Conservation Ecology, warned tourists that cheetahs can respond more aggressively to children than adults and he warned parents against having their children too close to wild cats

Mrs D’Mello’s ordeal came after the holidaying couple visited the private Kragga Kamma game reserve near the city of Port Elizabeth.

Mr D’Mello, a commercial helicopter pilot, told how the couple paid £4.50 (50 rand) each to view a pair of captive cheetahs close up.

He said: ‘We arrived the game reserve and there was an enclosure with two cheetahs inside. There was a sign up saying that you could take a tour of the enclosure with a guide and stroke the cats.

‘We decided to go for it as it all seemed safe, and at first the cheetahs were calm. We were in there with a local family who had young children.

‘The guide was a young woman, who said we could go over and stroke the cheetahs.But as my wife went over to do so the animals got up and walked away.

‘The guide said that at this time of the day they were a bit agitated.We walked away and as we did so one of the cheetahs leaped on a little girl who was in there.

‘She screamed loudly and we turned to round to see what was happening. She fell on her stomach and the animal bit her thigh.’

The couple were forced to put their plans on hold for several days following Saturday’s incident but have continued their holiday in another game park near Port Elizabeth.

Obviously we didn’t imagine that anything like this would happen.

Rest of story with hubbies pics.

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Posted: 04 May 2012 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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NO responsible zoo would allow a ‘petting’ area to include cats that are considered ‘wild’ regardless.  That’d be akin to having wild African dogs
or hienas (raised from pups by particular individuals the animals consider then part of a pack) part of a ‘petting zoo’ area.

I’ve seen domestic cats and even chihuahuas turn on children and tear them to pieces.  This zoo will, I am VERY sure, be open to civil suit for negligence and open endangerment.

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Posted: 04 May 2012 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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And guess who made number One today on a Top-10 List…

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Posted: 04 May 2012 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Dang!!!  I rest my case Unfairly!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted: 04 May 2012 10:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Unfairly Balanced - 04 May 2012 10:02 AM

He said: ‘We arrived the game reserve and there was an enclosure with two cheetahs inside. There was a sign up saying that you could take a tour of the enclosure with a guide and stroke the cats.

 

I was going to say it seems bizarre they let people walk amongst the big cats like that. But a couple of months ago I was walking amongst albeit tame kangaroos at the Melbourne Zoo.

Wild kangaroos have been known to rip people’s stomachs open with their sharp claws. Their back legs are extremely powerful. Mind you the large kangaroo I saw was more interested in the cauliflower the keeper was putting out for food.

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Posted: 05 May 2012 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Cheetahs are small big cats (or would that be big small cats?), and very rarely attack people.  You’re usually perfectly safe around wild ones, unless you try something stupid such as cornering it and trying to hug it.  Even then, it would probably just claw you and run away rather than spending time gnawing on you in the way that these two did.  I expect that these two wouldn’t have had anything to do with the woman if they hadn’t been acclimated to humans from birth; they were probably doing the same thing that housecats do sometimes when they play rough and get carried away with their hunting instincts. . .but cheetahs are a tad stronger than the average housecat.

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Posted: 05 May 2012 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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A ‘tad’ Acci?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheetah

The adult cheetah weighs from 35 to 72 kg (77 to 160 lb). Its total head-and-body length is from 110 to 150 cm (43 to 59 in), while the tail can measure 60 to 84 cm (24 to 33 in) in length.[13][14][15] Cheetahs are 66 to 94 cm (26 to 37 in) tall at the shoulder.

http://www.lookd.com/cats/anatomy.html

The domestic cat is one of the smallest. An adult domestic cat is about 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) high. The length from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail averages 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 centimeters), and the tail is about 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters) long. Females usually weigh from 6 to 10 pounds (2.7 to 4.5 kilograms) and males from 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kilograms), depending on skeletal size.

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Posted: 05 May 2012 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I have four cats, only one is male.
I would say the male is the second lightest of them all

One of them Zoe, is heavy because she’s fat, she’s fat becasue she’s dominant *she’s also old, so that dominance might change soon)

Then theres Shadow and she’s heavy because she’s large. She’s actaully about the same size and weight as a small bobcat (no offense Robin)

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Posted: 05 May 2012 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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okay still comparing:  Cheetah at 77 to 160 pounds.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobcat

It is smaller on average than the Canada lynx, with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat.
......................

The adult bobcat is 47.5 to 125 cm (18.7 to 49 in) long from the head to the base of the tail, averaging 82.7 cm (32.6 in); the stubby tail adds 9 to 20 cm (3.5 to 7.9 in) [12] and, due to its “bobbed” appearance, it gives the species its name.[15][16][17][18] An adult stands about 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 in) at the shoulders.[10][19] Adult males can range in weight from 6.4 to 18.3 kg (14 to 40 lb), with an average of 9.6 kg (21 lb); females at 4.1 to 15.3 kg (9.0 to 34 lb), with an average of 6.8 kg (15 lb).[20] The largest bobcat accurately measured on record weighed 22.2 kg (49 lb), although there are unverified reports of them reaching 27 kg (60 lb).[21][21] The largest-bodied bobcats are from eastern Canada of the subspecies (L. r. gigas), while the smallest are from the southeastern subspecies (L. r. floridanus), particularly those in the southern Appalachians.[22] The bobcat is muscular, and its hind legs are longer than its front legs, giving it a bobbing gait. At birth it weighs 0.6 to 0.75 pound (270 to 340 g) and is about 10 inches (25 cm) in length. By its first year it will reach about 10 pounds (4.5 kg).[14]

A cheetah so far outweighs both domestic cats AND bobcats by a considerable edge.

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