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Pupil bitten by cheetah at game reserve

A primary school pupil has reportedly been attacked by a cheetah at a game reserve in Pietermaritzburg.

News of the attack first emerged on Twitter after BloodLions, the organisation behind the controversial canned lion documentary, re-tweeted: “The dangers of wild animal interaction. Young Pmb pupil allegedly attacked by a cheetah at KwaCheetah, Nambiti Reserve.”

Headmaster of Cowan House Preparatory School, Robin Odell confirmed to News24 that a student was bitten by a cheetah, after the animal managed to “partially force its way through a game fence” during an education tour on Thursday.

“The school’s Board of Governors and Management have been in constant contact with all the relevant parties as well as the parents of the pupil,” Odell said.

“The pupil received immediate and appropriate medical attention for his injuries and is expected to make a full recovery from the bite wounds.”

The incident has raised questions over the breeding habits of wild cheetahs at the game reserve.

Wildlands Conservation Trust CEO Dr Andrew Venter says that the breeding practises at Nambini game reserve could have been avoided, as cheetahs are not being released into the wild after breeding.

“The facilities are there, so why are the animals not being released into the wild?”

“How did a cheetah get that close? The Endangered Wildlife Trust has forecast that this could happen, and now we see it is starting to happen. We’ve had a cheetah attack a child.”

Traveller24 contacted Desmond Gouws, a manager of the The KwaCheetah breeding project, Nambiti Game Reserve but he was unable to confirm the incident.