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Couple take action against safari park

A KNOWLE couple – trapped by a pride of lions after their tour vehicle overturned – are taking legal action against an African safari park.

A KNOWLE couple – trapped by a pride of lions after their tour vehicle overturned – are taking legal action against an African safari park.

Michael and Patricia Hawker feared for their lives when the Land Rover flipped over – stranding the group in the middle of the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

The incident took place in March 2007, at one of Africa’s most picturesque reserves.

One of the group was badly injured in the crash, while the rest were left bruised, and badly shaken by their ordeal. With the vehicle out of action, the holidaymakers were stranded and surrounded by the lions – who began to approach the group.

Another vehicle arrived, after about 40 minutes, to rescue the tourist party.

Now four couples are suing the park for £582,000, citing the injuries and trauma they suffered.

They allege that their driver went too close to the animals, and the Land Rover overturned when she tried to reverse down a steep slope.

Mr Hawker, who is 71, said: “Our main objective was to try and

get across to the people at the safari park that it was a serious incident. They treated it very lightly.

“Having had this experience, we wouldn’t want anybody else to go through it.”

Papers have now been lodged at Cape Town High Court.

A spokesman for the reserve has said it will fight the action, but would not comment any further.

 

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Cathrina Hulse
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Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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