SA filmmaker attacked by tiger

2012-03-29 08:47

Johannesburg - South African documentary filmmaker John Varty was critically injured when one of his tigers attacked him on his farm near Philippolis, in the Free State, SABC radio reported on Thursday morning.

Mediclinic spokesperson Amanda Appelgryn said Varty was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday night, and was in the intensive care unit.

He reportedly suffered multiple injures and puncture wounds all over his body.

Varty's brother Dave told Die Burger that he was busy filming tigers when he was attacked and that it's still unknown what exactly happened.

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


  • Matthew - 2012-03-29 09:03

    Huge apex-predator cats are not tame, and they are not pets, ask Siegfried & Roy.

      Squeegee - 2012-03-29 10:22

      Varty has made a huge contribution to preserving and understanding the big cats. Hope he fully recovers.

      koo.doyle - 2012-03-29 10:31

      No one is treating them as pets. They are filming a doccie about the breeding of tigers, that will, in decades to come, be reintroduced to their natural habitat. Their efforts are aimed at conservation, not at domesticating wild animals.

  • Vernon - 2012-03-29 09:30

    this is not a tomcat so dont ever drop your guard

  • attie - 2012-03-29 09:35

    I'm sorry to say, but this was predictable. In every doccy that JV made he got too close and inevitably interfered with the "actors" in his "movie". He never really understood the principles of conservation. He was a lot like Steve Irwin in that regard. Still they did try and the world is (was) a better place for it. I hope he gets well soon.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-29 09:41

      Never understood the principles of nature??/ Are you for real?? I think they were fully aware and highly knowledgeable and knew full well the consequences - but without people like them we would be that little less knowledgeable of nature.. If you ask him his views he will tell you that without hesitation.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-03-29 09:57

      Thanks to them we keep the "not so nature aware "people glued to their tv instead of stampeding nature.

      Johan - 2012-03-29 13:02

      seriously atie I am sure that this guy made a bigger difference than you ever will - please give reason for me to believe otherwise

  • Tendy Nedombs - 2012-03-29 09:47

    Yesterday two pythons opened the door lock before they escaped into the bush, where they belong, and now a tiger attacked the 'owner' Let us give these wild animals to live their lives in the bush.

      Morné - 2012-03-29 09:55

      Burmese pythons belong in Burma, not the African bush.

      Squeegee - 2012-03-29 10:21

      Tigers come from Asia, Dweeb. If not for Varty they would be on their way to extinction.

      roberta.keeling - 2012-03-29 10:33

      And Burma is on what Continent?

  • Tendy Nedombs - 2012-03-29 09:47

    Yesterday two pythons opened the door lock before they escaped into the bush, where they belong, and now a tiger attacked the 'owner' Let us give these wild animals to live their lives in the bush.

  • Albert - 2012-03-29 10:02

    These tigers do not belong here. Regardless of the fact that national conservation authorities advised strongly against allowing these cats here, Vali Moosa went over their heads and signed the permits. There was no quarentine time as far my knowledge goes and the dangers of these tigers introducing diseases that could have a devastating effect on our indigenous cats were ignored.

      PumaFred - 2012-03-29 10:13

      And who gave you a soapbox for a day?

      Wessel - 2012-03-29 10:25

      Albert with all respect pal, I don't believe you really know what you are saying and I am talking about these tigers in particular. I know many people and myself included believe this country has become FUBAR ...however these tigers were brought over to breed and do research so as to prevent them becoming extinct, scientist and vets are very much involved.

      PumaFred - 2012-03-29 11:00

      And who gave you a soapbox for a day?

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-03-29 10:26

    Animals like that belong in the wild

      koo.doyle - 2012-03-29 11:10

      Yes Cassandra, leave them in the wild where they are becoming extinct. This project aims to breed and reintroduce them. Think before posting something so ignorant.

      jaco.meiring - 2012-03-29 18:09

      Cassandra if you actually know anything, you would know that the tigers and lions on his farm is not in cages, but infact running wild in a protected area.

  • Jimmy - 2012-03-29 10:41

    idiot. and his movies are crap. just watch the one about shumba the lion cub. that was not conservation in action.

  • Herman - 2012-03-29 10:55

    JV is doing alot for conservation. Thanks to him we know much more about big cats in SA. I'd rather been attact by a big cat than a criminal. GET WELL SOON JOHN!

  • Albert - 2012-03-29 11:04

    Wessel, we all know that the involvement of scientists and vets does not say much as many were and possibly still are involved in rhino poaching. Many ecologists agree that the big cat problems Africa encounters stretches way beyond habitat destruction, retribution attacks and hunting. The introduction of foreign disease causes a major headache and includes distemper and rabies that is having a far-reaching effect on lions specifically, and that is my point; this was a potentially very dangerous exercise.

      Dudley - 2012-03-29 19:21

      Albert....And what 'foreign' diseased would you be referring to specifically? Rabies and distemper are by no means 'foreign' and were certainly not introduced to SA by John Varty's tigers. JV has dedicated vast resources, together with his time and passion, to saving tigers from worldwide extinction. What have you done?

  • susan.marais.33 - 2012-05-18 19:34

    I would like to now how John is after this unfortunate event? We all hope he is doing well, seem to miss any news regarding?

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