The wildlife park in South Africa where an American woman was killed Monday by a lion attack remains open. On Tuesday, a Lion Park official has said the park remains open and is “operating as usual.”
The woman was riding in the passenger side of a car when a lioness lunged at her through the car window that had been rolled all the way down, which is against park policy. The lion bit the woman, who suffered a fatal injury, while the driver of the car was injured after trying to punch the lion during the attack. The driver, who is a local tour operator, remains hospitalized, but does not have life-threatening injuries.
The Lion Park, which is located outside of Johannesburg, allows visitors to drive through areas where lions roam freely, making it a popular tourist destination. The park’s website claims, “Nowhere can you get closer to a pride of lions and other animals and still be completely safe.”
Scott Simpson, the assistant operations manager at the park, has said the park will not be closing, but that the area where the incident happened has been closed to the public. Simpson also says the lion who attacked the woman will be moved to a different property that is also owned by the park’s owners, one where she will not have any interaction with tourists.
Visitors to the park are told to keep their car windows and doors closed and locked at all times, imploring them to treat lions with “great respect.” However, that this is the second lion attack in the park this year, after an Australian tourist was hospitalized in March after being bitten by a lion.
The American Embassy in South Africa says it will not release the identity of the victim or any other details, “out of respect for the privacy of the family.” However, the Embassy has confirmed that the woman killed was an American. The park has offered its “deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the family and friends for their loss,” but it will not be closing following Monday’s attack.