Celebs came out in full force to strut the red carpet at the 2015 Met Gala. See all the pics here!

PICS: Comedian Trevor Noah rubs shoulders with Hollywood celebrities at the 2015 Met Gala!

John Varty: I felt like a rag doll

2012-04-05 09:30
 
 
Bloemfontein – Filmmaker and conservation legend John Varty has told of his experience after being mauled by one of his tigers on his tiger farm, Tiger Canyons, outside Philippolis.

"I felt like a rag doll being torn open when Corbett tried to pull me through the fenced gate in the tiger camp. I realised these were my last moments on earth."

Varty, 61, described in detail how he was attacked by Corbett, his tiger, last Wednesday.

'Watching his every move'

In a newsletter on his website, Varty told how he and a film team from Aquavision Productions had made preparations to record footage of the female tiger Julie in the camp next to Corbett and his sister Panna.

Varty, who's recuperating in the Mediclinic in Bloemfontein, told how he battled to lock the gate after they had finished.

He saw Panna on a rock about 120m away while Corbett was lying in the grass about 15m away, watching his every move. "I turned around to walk to the vehicle when Corbett stormed the camp's wire gate."

The tiger grabbed Varty with his huge claws through the gate's horizontal barbed wire and pinned him against the gate, trying to pull him into the camp.

"The only thing going through my thoughts at the time was to use the stick or the hand pistol that I had on me at the time, but Corbett was too fast and too strong."

Pretending to be dead

Julie Brown from Aquavision Productions rushed to help Varty. "She grabbed my legs and it was like a tug of war between her and Corbett.

"I kept thinking I had to protect my neck and head."

"For a moment I thought of pretending to be dead."

Other members of the film team also came to help. A cameraman managed to hit Corbett on the head with a steel pipe. "For people who had never worked with tigers before, the film team performed miracles and saved my life."

The drive on wet, uneven terrain along a dirt road to Philippolis took 30 minutes and was a painful experience, said Varty.

Dr André Loubser, a trauma surgeon at Mediclinic Bloemfontein, was very satisfied with Varty's condition. "There is no infection."

Loubser said Varty would remain in the high care unit for now. On Sunday a decision will be taken on whether he could be moved to a general ward.

Varty's ex-wife and TV personality Gillian van Houten told reporters last week that they won't get rid of the tiger Corbett, and that "the attack was just about one male challenging another male".
 
Read more on:    john varty  |  bloemfontein  |  movies  |  celebrities
NEXT ON CHANNEL24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
21 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Recent News

An actress who accused Los Angeles police of racial profiling when they investigated a report she was having sex with her boyfriend in a parked car has been ordered to apologise to officers. Read More »
Add your review

Michael Blake, the writer whose novel Dances With Wolves became a major hit movie and earned him an Academy Award for the screenplay, has died Read More »
Add your review

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.