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Editor's Choice - Pictures of the Day - May 5, 2012

The Associated Press, AP Photos/Archibald D'Mello

A sequence of photos taken by a tourist from Scotland on Saturday, April 28, shows the man's wife on the ground, hair flying, blood on her neck, with two cheetahs nearby.

The Port Elizabeth Herald reported Friday that Violet D’Mello of Aberdeen, Scotland, was attacked by cheetahs on April 28 while in a petting pen with the animals at a game reserve near Port Elizabeth in southeastern South Africa.

It says she was attacked while trying to protect young children from another group that was in the enclosure at the same time. Her husband took photos of the attack, which were published by the local newspaper and others.

One of the photos taken by Archie D’Mello shows Violet D’Mello smiling and posing with a cheetah raised by humans in the enclosure, before, as she told the Herald, “it became serious very quickly.”


One of two cheetahs in the enclosure first grabbed a young girl, leaving her with scratches and cuts that needed stitches, the Herald reported. D’Mello tried to calm the child and her brother, and ended up also being attacked. She told the BBC she had numerous bite and puncture marks, and that her scalp was “sliced open.”

The cheetahs “weren’t being vicious. You could tell they were just excited,” Violet D’Mello told the Herald.

The Herald said park staff and other visitors pulled the cats off. The D’Mellos continued their holiday in South Africa.



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Amazing - when will people learn to never go near wild animals - it's such a simple concept

absolutely stupid woman

These kitty cats are perfect predators, essential for the natural food chain. Why are people treating them like Morris the Cat? They belong left alone in the wild, being cheetahs. Enough said.

Okay, what people don't get is that these are wild animals. They're not for pets, they're not for petting or feeding or cuddling with. When I see this or when I hear people get hurt by these types of animals, I have no sympathy. Why? Because you just leave these animals alone. It's common sense. Really! You don't have to be a rocket scientist.

Let me get this straight: A Petting Pen, for Cheetahs. Not goats, not ponies, and not Llamas, Cheetahs. For Children too. Young, small, not very agile, and COMPLETELY inexperienced in life, dangerous situations, and how to react accordingly. I don't know what has me more outraged: The people who came up with this Brilliant Concept, or the completely irresponsible parents who would EVER consider letting their progeny into a small and enclosed space with Apex Predators. It'd be one thing if the cheetahs were young cubs, but these are almost/completely adult. It's a blooming Miracle that this has been the first attack, and even more miraculous that it wasn't a kid. I would've expected this woman though not to be as foolish as to put herself into that situation. Ah well, no sympathy from me. Perhaps now, shell be more reasoned in her thinking and her decisions.

He took photos? That was his first response?

I don't understand why cheetahs would be in a petting enclosure. They are still wild animals with an unpredictible nature even if they are raised by humans. The same goes for elephants in a circus who have been known to attack their trainers of many years.
This game reserve needs to change its policy.

lesson learned, do not, under any circumstances, get close a wild animal, whether or not that wild animal, especially a carnivore, has been raised by humans or born in the wild.

Gotta love the husband who continues to snap pictures while his wife is attacked . . .

I know when my dogs or cats are licking their chops like the one is doing in the first pic then that means thats its time for them to eat he should have warned her that it was licking its chops

What was she doing inside that petting pen? Did she think it was a cat inside that pen?

Animals that bare their teeth are not smilling. What the woman in the top picture is doing is baring her teeth. We call that smiling. Animals bare their teeth to show agression. What more do you need to know?
Are you going to dive and feed the sharks next? Is a wolf shy? Depends on how hungry he is.

A 'petting pen ' ?. Smarten up, people, these are wild animals, not house cats. Siegfried & Roy learned that the hard way.

Crazy! What a "wonderful" husband this lady has taking pictures of his wife being attacked by these animals! This guy needs to be put in a mental institution!!!!!

People don t get it yet. Don t play with wild animals , even if they are friendly or raised by human. Pretty simple

Stupid Humans.

why is her husband taking photos during the attack?!?

What is wrong with her husband? Who stands there and takes pictures of their partner getting attacked by an animal?

Never touch any cat on the head without its permission! Ms. D'Mello was saved from further injury or very possibly death, (i.e. the first cheetah's lunch) after her stupid maneuver, by the three legged cat. Notice the attacking cat's deference. An eye for an eye, a head touch for a bite. Morale-big cats are wild, regardless of whom raises them; aren't structures to lean on and don't like to be touched unless they yield.

mental note ... don't go into a petting pen with Cheetahs

Is this true

So much idiocy here I don't know where to begin...but I'll try.
WILD animals be they caged or not is what they are. Cheetahs for gosh sake. Then the husband who stands by to take pics while the wife is being eaten alive...laugh...oh my. My first stop would be a divorce lawyer and as stupid as I would have been for entering such a pen, a civil suit lawyer. I would then make arrangements to have my head examined as obviously something isn't right for it to bring me into such a situation.

These are wild animals. If you are willing to pose like a idiot beside the worlds fastest cat there is a reasonable assumption that you will be mauled.

Just a reminder that they are wild animals and these "petting zoo's" are NOT a good idea. Glad that everyone is okay, could have ended with death.

geeeeeeeeee this is terrible !

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