September 1, 2005

Tanzanian villager fights off lion

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - A Tanzanian man survived a
mauling by a lion which sprang at him from the bushes on his
way to his farm, the local Guardian newspaper reported on

Omari Waziri Mtonga was with two relatives when the beast
hauled him to the ground, clawing and biting him repeatedly in
the coastal district of Kisarawe, the paper said.

"I somehow managed to muster the strength to battle with
it," the 50-year-old said from his hospital bed after the
attack last weekend. "I was in a state of shock, but kept
fighting it with all my strength. I refused to lie down and be
killed by the animal."

As his two companions screamed for help, the huge cat left
its struggling prey on the ground and sank its teeth into the
thigh of one of the other men before charging back into the

The newspaper said villagers were on the hunt for the lion.

The east African country has a large population of wildlife
including leopards and cheetahs, which periodically attack
villagers or their livestock.