Lions at the Weltevrede Lion Farm. Picture: Niels-Ebbe Dalsø Larsen/Facebook
CAPE TOWN - A lioness at Weltevrede Lion Farm in Heilbron attacked a 4-year-old girl on Sunday.

Little Dina-Marie de Beer is in critical condition and according to her father, Pieter, the recovery will be very long.

According to Netwerk24, her skull was removed in order to relieve pressure on her brain. She was airlifted to Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton and was placed in an induced coma.

The family is from Pretoria.


The family were on their way back from a holiday and decided to visit the park so that Dina-Marie could pet a lion cub.

The girl was apparently in her dad's arms when she was attacked by the lioness, through the fence of a camp.


The lioness that attacked Dina-Marie was not fully grown. The juvenile got a hold of Pieter and clawed at the 4-year-old's scalp.

It should be noted that Pieter sustained some minor injuries.

According to Charlene van Wyk, the lion farm manager, the attack was a "freak accident" and that the family was told not to stand to close to the fence.

This rule was made clear to the family and in fact to all visitors who enter the lion park.


The Weltevrede Lion Farm made headlines in 2010 when two sisters were attacked by multiple lions.

According to Sapa, a young girl tried to pet one of the juvenile lionesses and it jumped up on her back and grabbed her ponytail.

The older sister was then attacked by another lion while her mother was carrying her. She suffered minor injuries on her buttocks.

IOL News has reached out to the farm and was told that there was no person within management that could speak to the media at this time.

The farm is currently open but there is no person from management that was present at the time.

The person that spoke to us refused to give her name and said she was told not to speak to the media.

* This is a developing story.