A classic Darwin Award

Not for the first time, this African boy finds himself shaking his head in utter disbelief at the sheer unmitigated stupidity of some tourists visiting that continent.

An American woman has been killed by a lion that jumped into a car and attacked her at a nature park in South Africa, according to reports.

The site quoted Scott Simpson, a manager at the lion park, as saying that the lion appears to have jumped into the car and bitten the woman. He added that the man was injured trying to protect the woman.

“Our staff working at the top of the camp tried to get the lion away from the car. Ambulances were called immediately but it was too late,” Mr Simpson said.

Visitors to the park are told not to leave their windows open.

“We make it so clear,” Mr Simpson added.  “We put signage up everywhere that people must keep their windows closed. We hand them a slip of paper when they enter the park, I really don’t understand why people think its okay to leave windows open.”

There’s more at the link.

It’s the same syndrome that I wrote about last year in connection with a hippo (and a few other animals).  Some people absolutely refuse to believe (or simply can’t conceive) that they’re a lot lower on the food chain in Africa than they are in their native First World habitats.  In most of Africa, Mother Nature is a stone cold bitch who’ll kill you in a heartbeat.  (She is in much of Alaska too . . . that’s one reason why Miss D., who’s from that part of the world, and I get along so well.  We both understand environments where life isn’t something to take for granted – so we don’t take each other for granted, either!)

My condolences to the bereaved . . . but this is a classic Darwin Award if ever there was one.



  1. Like our mutual friend Jennifer says, "Alaska can turn 'stupid' into 'dead' faster than anyplace else I've been."

  2. Up on the North Slope, even in August, you can taste winter in the air- life is "thin on the bone" there.

  3. Blame Disney and all those cutesy animals… talking lions, dancing hippos, etc. etc. A whole generation has grown up believing that animals are our friends.

  4. "In most of Africa, Mother Nature is a stone cold bitch who'll kill you in a heartbeat."

    So true. Having spent a fair amount of time in the African bush, I can attest to this.

    But it doesn't have to be Africa where the tourists are stupid. During a holiday at Yellowstone, I was amazed at how close tourists would get to the bison and elk. Yes the bison and elk appeared docile, but that can change in a second.

  5. I suppose the car has blood splashed within, so I suggest the following.
    To FORCEFULLY get the point across, have photographs of its interior clearly displayed in entrance places where the tourists cannot avoid seeing them.
    Sounds a bit unpalatable, but how else can the potential danger be rammed into their thick, unthinking brains?.

  6. Large animal? Check.
    Large predatory animal? Check.
    Human without bang-stick of sufficient size (and knowledge of how to use said bang stick)? Check.
    In a location where the animal has right-of-way? Check.
    Then follow instructions!

    My only question is: can the park request damages from the deceased's estate if the lion gets indigestion?


  7. I think the park should purchase the car and display it in the foyer of the main office, bloodstains, claw marks and all. Photos are at a remove from reality.

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