Lioness Kills Zoo Worker In South Africa

Published February 14, 2012 10:36AM (EST)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Johannesburg Zoo says a lioness killed a worker in its enclosure on a rural conservation farm.

Spokesman Letta Madlala says colleagues heard Joe Ramonetha screaming on Monday and rushed to help but it was too late. The 63-year-old Ramonetha was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

Madlala said Tuesday that Ramonetha had been feeding the 11-year-old lioness or cleaning out her enclosure on the zoo's conservation farm in Parys, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Johannesburg.

She said Ramonetha had worked for the zoo since 1970.

Madlala said zoo managers would meet to decide the fate of the lioness.

South Africa has about 2,700 free-ranging lions and 4,000 lions in captivity.

By Salon Staff

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