Houseboat incident involving lions

Houseboat incident involving lions

Rae Kokes, the principal researcher for LionAlert who was on the scene during the recent incident involving lions attacking a houseboat deckhand after he disembarked to secure the mooring lines on a houseboat. As usual, rumours tend to get out of hand so below is the official story from Rae.

Houseboat incident involving lions

September 7 2014

On the 4th of September ALERT’s Principle Researcher for the Matusadona Lion Project was tracking lionesses from the Eastern Pride in the Mucheni area. A visual was obtained at 5pm and they were followed as they headed South West to the other side of the peninsula they were on.

After losing visual the researcher anticipated their movements and waited at a look out point some distance way. At this time a houseboat was arriving into the nearby bay.

At 6:30pm shouting was heard from the houseboat and our researcher arrived at the scene within 10 mins to find an employee had been attacked by the lions.

Using the research vehicle the lions were driven off the victim but first aid unfortunately could not be given as the lions remained within too close proximity. The man sadly passed away at the scene.

Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority scouts arrived shortly after, and with their help, as well as that of a paramedic on the houseboat, the victim’s body was safely retrieved.

Two lionesses, known within the Matusadona Lion Project study as F106, “Gogo”, and F114, “Ngoda”, were destroyed by Park’s staff following this incident.

There was no evidence to suggest either of these lions was injured or ill that would cause them to attack a person. It is believed because the victim was moving alone at night in the bushes he approached the lions unknowingly.

This has been a huge blow for the Park, the lion population and the study, however the real tragedy is in the loss of the victim. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with his family left behind.

A sincere thank you is to be made to National Parks staff and the Zimbabwean Police for their professionalism and assistance. A thank you also to Mike Blignaut and Pierre Hundermark from Bulembi Safaris for their assistance.

two lions

two lions

The link to the article on the LionAlert website is


Leopard climbing tree

Leopard climbing tree


Leopard climbing tree

Axelle Despiegelaere, World Cup Model, kills Oryx

Axelle Despiegelaere, World Cup Model, kills Oryx

Axelle Despiegelaere, World Cup Model, kills Oryx

Axelle Despiegelaere

L’Oreal, who only recently signed a contract with 17-year-old World Cup fan Axelle Despiegelaere, has now terminated the contract. Photos of the attractive teen cheering Belgium in the World Cup 2014 went viral.

However, Axelle’s undoing was recently posting a proud photo of herself to Facebook in which she is holding a rifle, proudly sitting behind what appears to be a dead oryx she shot while hunting.


The caption, in reference to the World Cup match, read: “Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that..this was about 1 year ago…ready to hunt Americans today haha.”

Axelle subsequently apologized in the comments section of her post after getting heated responses from fans, saying “i didn’t mean to offend was a joke.”

However, it was too late for L’Oreal who failed to see the funny side who informed The Independant that Axelle’s contract has been “completed.”

“L’Oréal Professionnel Belgium collaborated with her on an ad hoc basis to produce a video for social media use in Belgium,” said a representative. “The contract has now been completed.”

The announcement came soon after fans took to social media to express their outrage that L’Oreal would be affiliated with Axelle after her controversial post.

I am not sure if the controversy relates to the shooting of a beautiful, innocent animal or her comment regarding hunting Americans. Personally, I and many of my African colleagues will be more offended and disgusted by the killing of the animal.

Interestingly, while L’Oreal is aware of the photograph, it would not comment on whether it was the specific reason behind the decision to cut the model’s contract.

That said, the representative did point out that L’Oréal “no longer tests on animals, anywhere in the world, and does not delegate this task to others.”

Indeed, in 2012 alone, the beauty giant donated $1.2 million to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help improve the testing of safe chemicals. Perhaps this implies it was the shooting that offended them the most?

Upon arriving home to Belgium after becoming the World Cup Model, Axelle posted to Facebook that she had “Made my decision..signed my contract with L’Oreal!”

It would appear L’Oreal also made their decision and unsigned their copy.