21-year-old Swané van Wyk was passionate about nature and animals. This made a fateful attack all the more sad and shocking for her parents and friends.
Van Wyk was attacked and killed by lions she had been caring for at Zwartkloof Private Game Reserve in Bela-Bela last week.
“She was so passionate and loving towards the lions. She told me in December she will be going back to the reserve earlier, to her lions,” a devastated Carla van Wyk from Three Rivers in Verneeiging told Vaal Weekblad.
Van Wyk had been living and working at Zwartkloof for the past year and two months. Tragedy struck last Thursday afternoon.
While doing her daily tasks, Van Wyk was attacked by lions in a fenced-off camp. It has not yet been established how many lions attacked her, or if they have been put down.
“We don’t have any information on the circumstances leading to up to her death,” said Carla van Wyk.
Her co-workers heard her cries for help during the incident. Van Wyk managed to escape the camp, but later died at the scene, due to deep bites and scratch wounds.
Shortly after her death, condolences began pouring in on her Facebook timeline.
Zwartkloof reportedly closed its doors while workers mourned and worked through the tragedy.
Van Wyk was a learner at Laerskool Risiville and Hoërskool Overvaal, and matriculated in 2016 at Hoërskool Dr. Malan in Meyerton.
This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder