JUN 03, 2015 8:59 PM PDT

Lion Kills American Tourist in South Africa

An American woman visiting South Africa on a mission to raise money for conservation and fight poachers, has died after a lion in a tourist attraction lion park attacked her and her companion.

Lion Park, just north of Johannesburg allows visitors to drive their own cars through the park but visitors are instructed by park staff, literature and multiple signs to always keep their car windows closed at all times. While driving through an area where a lioness was attending to her newborn cubs, the visitor, 29 year old Katherine Chapell allegedly opened her window to take pictures. The lioness, standing nearby charged the vehicle, mauling Chapell to death and injuring her companion who was driving.

The park remains open to visitors however the lioness has been removed from the open park and placed in a secure area. Park officials have stated that the lion would not have been able to injure Chapell if the car windows had been closed. One spokesperson told CNN, "You can take an animal out of the wild, but you can never take the wild out of that animal."

A Lion Park staff member who attempted to save the woman's life was also injured and suffered a heart attack immediately after the incident.

(Source: CNN, ABC News, BBC
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