A New Zealand father who took on a cheetah in South Africa to save his son has made headline news in his home country.
Radio New Zealand reported that Dave Driver and his family had visited the Emdoneni Lodge in Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal. Guests were “allowed to pat two cheetahs” under the supervision of tour guides.
Mother Mandy Driver told the radio station that one of the cheetahs seemed restless.
It walked through the group before pushing her son‚ Isaac‚ to the ground with “full force”.
“[The cheetah] landed [Isaac] on the ground as though it was eating him. It was horrible‚ it was really scary‚” Mandy reportedly said.
“My husband just seemed to appear from nowhere – he just grabbed the cheetah‚ pulled it off him‚ and just held it to the ground.”
The 14-year-old‚ she said‚ sustained injuries on his back and shoulder. While he is doing “OK”‚ she told the radio station that he wants to go home.
The lodge has a cheetah project and many of the animals‚ according to the website‚ were injured or orphaned.
“Others arrived that were raised as pets and became to (sic) wild to be a domestic cat‚ some were found homeless‚ but here at Emdoneni Lodge with Cheetah Project they have a home and are dearly loved.”
The lodge works with the KZN Parks Board Wildlife Services “who assist us in releasing off-spring back into the wild”. – Tiso Black Star Group/Nashira Davids