The manager, who asked not to be named, said she was getting scary messages from people blaming the park for David Solomon’s death.
THE MANAGER of the Seaview Predator Park in Gqeberha fears for her safety after being blamed for a Siberian tiger, Jasper, killing an employee.
The manager, who asked not to be named, said she was getting scary messages from people blaming the park for David Solomon’s death, News24 reported.
Solomon was repairing a fence in close proximity to Jasper’s enclosure at the time he was killed. The eight-year-old Jasper then breached the fence of a neighbouring enclosure, where he also killed another male tiger to get to a female tiger who was in oestrus (on heat).
Unable to ensure the tigers’ safety after the tragic incident, the park contacted a UK-based charity, the Aspinall Foundation, for assistance in securing a new home for them. Last week, Jasper and his sister, Jade, were translocated in an emergency rescue operation from the park to Lions Rock Big Cat Sanctuary in the Free State.
The park was also vandalised on Friday when around 50 people allegedly attempted to set the fence of the park alight, said police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu. Solomon’s family were conducting a ritual inside the park at the time.
“It is alleged that on the mentioned date (25 June, 2021) at about 11:45, a group of about 50 people, including the family of the deceased, went to the park to fetch his spirit,’’ Naidu said.
’’The manager spoke to them and an agreement was reached to allow only immediate family members inside. However, there were some non-family members that had entered as well.
“It is further alleged that on leaving the park, information boards were destroyed, a gate was removed and the unlawful group attempted to set a fence on fire. The estimated damage is R12,500. The group that vandalised these items did not get permission to enter the park.
’’At this stage, we are just investigating a case of MITP (malicious injury to property). However, as the investigation unfolds an additional charge of intimidation or assault may be added provided that the manager officially makes a statement to the police.
“Police will make frequent patrols in that area. However, should the owners need permanent protection; they will have to engage their private security.”
The park manager said she had received information that a group of people would return this week to burn electricity poles and cut fences, which could result in 22 lions and tigers running wild.