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Varty doing fine – brother

South African conservationist and film-maker John Varty was doing fine in intensive care on Friday after being attacked by a tiger, his brother David said.

“John is fine today and progressing well. It is still a long wait but we are positive,” said Varty.

File photo of John Varty, front, Elmon Mhlongo and Gillian van Houten. Credit: INLSA

“He is still in ICU and will be moved to the wards this weekend, where he will stay for a week. As a family we are thankful because the attack could have been more serious.”

John Varty suffered several puncture wounds and two broken ribs after being attacked while filming on his Tiger Canyons farm in the central Free State, which he set up to create a free roaming tiger population outside of Asia.

On Thursday, Tiger Canyons announced on their website that Varty was out of theatre at the Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic.

Tigers are not native to South Africa, which is home to lions, leopards, and cheetahs, but Varty set up the experimental reserve near the small town of Philippolis with the aim of eventually returning the cats to Asia to boost their dwindling numbers.

He founded the luxury Londolozi Game Reserve (lodge) in the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the country's world-famous Kruger National Park.

He has made several documentaries and co-wrote, produced, and starred as himself in the 1992 film “Running Wild” also starring Brooke Shields and Martin Sheen. – Sapa

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