John Varty 'still in a lot of pain'

2012-03-29 10:59
Cape Town - John Varty, the South African documentary filmmaker who was attacked by a tiger at his Tiger Canyons farm on Wednesday, is out of the operating theatre and recovering in the ICU at the Mediclinic Bloemfontein.

Eyewitness News reports that Varty's brother Dave said "he came out of theatre at five this morning and is now recovering well".

Varty reportedly suffered several puncture wounds and two broken ribs.

Still serious

Mediclinic spokesperson Amanda Appelgryn told Channel24 that although Varty's condition is still serious, he is conscious and recovering.

"We are sedating him as he is still in a lot of pain," said Appelgryn.

"I don't want to speculate but he will probably be in ICU for at least a week.

"In cases like these it's very easy to get an infection," Appelgryn told Channel24.

John Varty is orginially from Johannesburg and is an expert in the rehabilitation of tigers, cheetahs, lions and leopards.

Although South Africa is not home to tigers, Varty set up the experimental reserve near the small town of Philippolis about 10 years ago with the aim of eventually returning cats to Asia.

Varty also founded the luxury Londolozi Game Reserve in the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park.

Varty co-wrote, produced and starred in the 1992 Hollywood feature film Running Wild, which also starred Brooke Shields and Martin Sheen.


  • Chris - 2012-03-29 11:14

    The picture says it all... when will these people learn? He can count himself lucky that he didn't have to pay with his life to learn this lesson like Steve Irwin did.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-03-29 11:21

      Chris I concur ! When will man learn that the wild stays wild !

      Johan - 2012-03-29 11:26

      The lesson is to live your passion without fear and rather enjoy what you do for a short time than live a boring life for all your years. But you probobly wont understand that chris.

      Arthur - 2012-03-29 12:42

      Here's a guy risking his life trying to put right what other lunatics present the world with, namely driving wildlife to extinction. Would be better if you mommies' boys didn't make idiotic comments.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-29 12:48

      Tiggers and Tigers don't come from Africa...

      Justin - 2012-03-29 12:50

      Really? Seriously? If not for people like this our nature conservation efforts would be virtually non existent. The world needs passionate people like this to be on Mother Natures side. Just like a miner, a fisherman or an explosives expert has dangers related to their work, so too does a man and conservationist like Varty. You comment is very short sighted, like everyone on this planet, it is nice to go and see wild animals, but they forget that is is the efforts of people like Varty that ensures that you still can.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-29 14:23

      Totally ignorant comment Chris... It is people like Steve and John that has educated communities at the importance of nature and conservation. Whereas in the past these animals would just be killed due to ignorance..

  • The-third - 2012-03-29 11:15

    Guy gets attacked by a tiger on Wednesday, today is Thursday and we report that he's "still in a lot of pain"? really?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-29 14:20

      Lol, saw that and had a good chuckle..

  • Rory - 2012-03-29 11:25

    Hey all the best to John Varty. This man is an absolute legend and is so instrumental in bringing about wildlife awareness and conservation and preserving the big cats species. You dodged a bullet mate, get well and keep on going. all the best

  • Avril - 2012-03-29 11:31

    What part of "Wild Animal" do people not understand?

      Justin - 2012-03-29 12:52

      Remember that when one day your children don't get to see a large wild cat in the wild, it is because of brave people like this that your children will still be able to view these beautiful animals in the wild. Before making comments, read about the man and his accomplishments first.

  • Andre - 2012-03-29 11:39

    Wild is Wild, and the persons that get killed by wild animals do it for the love that have for animals, everybody that works with wild animals understands and know that, its pointless to run them down after the get hurt, Whatb has done for wildlife, look at that rather, Steve included, we will be watching his work for decades to come, I take my hat of to the few that have balls to do what they do, Thank u!!!!!!!

  • Johan - 2012-03-29 11:45

    I am a great admirer of JV but he has been going to close to these tigers! May he recover soon!

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-29 11:49

    Play with the Tiger,,, You will get the Teeth.

  • Steenkamp - 2012-03-29 11:50

    Get well soon Tiger man. We did our military training in the Air Force in 1969. Can you believe how time flies.

  • Bongani - 2012-03-29 11:57

    Get well soon. Did any one give that Tiger pain killers and Allergix, because animals suffer pain too?

  • Frans Van der Poll - 2012-03-29 12:32

    Tigers are not native to Africa? So is this tiger a refugee. Sorry just had to say that.

  • Lee - 2012-03-29 12:51

    I think John Varty was well aware of the dangers and I take my hat off to those like Steve Irwin as well having the balls to do what they do/did because they passed on the knowledge they learnt to you and I and to our kids. Everyone has a passion for something whether it be dangerous or not and everybody who takes on whatever their passion is knows what pro's and cons are involved just like being an electrician, working with bombs, flying etc etc etc. They help us understand animals more and they help us love them more. I hope for a speedy recovery for John so that he get back to what he loves.

  • Maria - 2012-03-29 13:00

    Just hope that the tiger wasn't killed allready or will be :-(

      Maria - 2012-03-29 15:39

      I'm sure the "Thumb Down" belongs to a person going through life hurting animals .......

  • Lynn - 2012-03-29 13:24

    Thank God for the Steve Irwins and John Varty's of the world. Preserving what is deemed precious whilst others slaughter and maim with impunity for erections and infertility. Ancestral and backward beliefs have raped our planet of creatures needed to balance our fragile eco system. Get well soon JV and continue with the good work.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-29 14:22


  • seaterp - 2012-03-29 13:30

    I wish John Varty a speedy recovery. Chris & Sandra - if you were a conservationist you would understand the urgency that people like John Varty feel when it comes to animals that are either extinct in the wild or heading there with a gallop because of US human beings. Do your selves a favour - read his book: "Nine Lives" and you will get a glimpse of what he has done & will always do in the name of conservation.

      sorryson3 - 2012-03-29 13:57

      The follow-up should be even better, "Just Eight Left" 1

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-03-29 15:49

      @seaterp Bengal Tigers belong in India not South Africa. I have seen the Indian conservationists doing their own saving of the Bengal Tiger on the TV channel Animal Planet.

  • Kitty - 2012-03-29 15:32

    Get well soon JV there's more work to be done.

  • seaterp - 2012-03-29 16:19

    @ Sandra - does it really matter where they originate from as long as we have people passionate enough to take on the cause to prevent them from becoming extinct?

  • Andre - 2012-03-30 00:52

    Andre Jooste: I have been to Tiger Canyon and rate it as one of the best experiences in my life. Both for seeing the magnificent tigers roaming and to listen to the amazing work that JV is involved in. He has my full support. If only we had more people like him. I hope he gets better soon

  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-30 06:45

    I watched the show on him and the tigers its truly incredible that they will allow him to lay with them, but in the end wild is wild and we are there food. I wouldnt want my food to lay with me so why would they want it. One needs to know where to draw the line, or when to walk away. Sad though and i hope John recovers fully and continues his brilliant work. Just a lil more carefully.

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