South African 'Lion Man' killed by his lions

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Leon van Biljon, owner of Mahala View Lion Lodge near Pretoria, South Africa, was killed by his lions on Tuesday. Van Biljon, reportedly often referred to as "The Lion Man", had been in the lions' area attempting to mend a fence at the time, according to local news media.

File photo of Leon van Biljon with a lion.
Image: Mahala View Lion Lodge on Facebook.

Mahala View Lion Lodge formerly billed itself as home to three lions: Rambo, Katryn and Nakita. It is one of over two hundred lion lodges in South Africa, which collectively house and breed more than six thousand lions, scientists report, a population larger than that of wild lions in South Africa.

Connie Moganedi, a spokeswoman for the police department of nearby Cullinan, told CNN, neighbors from other lodges nearby attempted, but were unable, to save van Biljon. In the wake of van Biljon's death, Connie Moganedi said, the lions were killed. Van Biljon was seventy years old.