Katherine Chappell was in South Africa on a trip to help protect and raise money for animals. She was on a guided tour through a lion park when she was attacked and killed by a lion, one of the animals she was trying to protect.
She was riding in the passenger side of the car inside the wildlife park with the windows down. Park rules clearly state that all vehicle doors and windows should be locked at all times.
According to E! News the guide driver Pierre Potgieter said Chappell put her window down so she could take pictures. Witnesses say that a few lionesses took notice and started to approach the vehicle before one lion lunged at her and latched on.
Potgieter attempted to fight the animal off Chappell but ended up getting mauled himself. After park officials chased off the lion, an ambulance was rushed to the site where the 29-year-old tourist had already died. The tour guide Potgieter is currently suffering from arm injuries and a heart attack but is healing.
Officials are investigating the lion attack. So far, the cat has been taken to a separate facility but will not be euthanized. Scott Simpson, the assistant operations manager at the park expressed to several sources that there are numerous signs around the park that state the rules, and that his team is very sad a life was lost.
Chappell’s family and friends have expressed their sadness over social media and a service will be held this weekend in her hometown of Rye, New York.