A safari-park carer has been hailed a “hero” after rescuing a careless teen from the jaws of a cheetah.
The 17-year-old from Germany visited the Beekse Bergen Safari Park near Tilburg in the Netherlands with his school. The teen and two of his friends put their lives at risk by leaving the marked walking paths.
It is unclear whether the young men deliberately entered the cheetah enclosure or were merely careless and park officials are investigating.
One of them – his name was withheld by local authorities due to strict privacy regulations – suffered injuries to his arms and head when the cheetah attacked him as he tried to run away with his pals.
A carer eventually managed to drag him to safety.
A spokesman for the wildlife park told local broadcaster RTL: “The group left the path which has been created for visitors who discover the premises not by car but by foot.
“There are information signposts all over the safari park in several languages, including German.
“They apparently got over a six-metre (20ft) fence and ended up in an area which is restricted only to visitors in vehicles.”
The spokesman for the biggest safari park in the Benelux region underlined: “The carer who managed to rescue the boy acted like a hero.
“The teenager was visibly shocked but the carer and his colleagues looked after him.”
The German lad suffered injuries to his arms and head. He was taken to a clinic for immediate treatment. Doctors discharged him on the same day.
The safari park’s management has decided to reevaluate the venue’s different visitor-safety precautions following Monday’s incident (26th September), according to its spokesman.
Cheetahs are large cats native to Africa and central Iran.
Their capability of running at 50 to 80 miles per hour makes them the fastest land animals in the world.
Beekse Bergen Safari Park – which first opened in 1968 – features more than 1,200 animals from around 150 species. It registered around 1.15 million visitors in 2019.
It is located five miles south of the city of Tilburg.
On its website, the safari park says: “Stimulate all your senses during the impressive safaris at Beekse Bergen.
“Admire the expansive plains on foot, opt for adventure and take your own car, get on board the safari bus for an educational tour, or relax during a stunning boat trip.
“Each safari is unique and you can decide on the order you take them!”
Making aware of its on-foot safari experience opportunities, the institution says: “Put on your hiking boots and go on an adventure while exploring our impressive natural environs.
“While following the walking trail, you will come face-to-face with some very special animal species!”
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Story By: Thomas Hochwarter, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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