Wild Ethiopian Lions Rescue Kidnapped Girl

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A 12-year-old girl who found herself kidnapped and beaten by a group of men who were attempting to force her to get married was later found being guarded by three lions who according to the girl, chased of her kidnappers a policeman involved in the case said. The girl had been missing for a week and had been abducted by seven men who were trying to force her into marriage with one of them said Sergeant Wondimu Wedajo a policeman who serves in the Ethiopian city of Bita Genet.

Lions guarded girl

She was beaten repeatedly by the group of men before she was found by police and relatives on the city’s outskirts said Mr Wondimu. According to the girl, the lions had been guarding her four about 12 hours. Mr Wondimu said the lions stood guard until she was found and then just left her as if she were a gift and wandered back into the forest. He adds that if the lions had not rescued the girl, the situation would have been much worse because girls in such cases tend to be raped and beaten until they accept marriage.

‘Some kind of miracle’

Tilahun Kassa, a government official who confirmed Mr Wondimu’s story said one of the men wished to marry the girl against her wishes. Mr Kassa adds that everyone believes that this is some kind of miracle because lions tend to attack humans, but in this case, they provided assistance. Stuart Williams a wildlife expert says the reason why the girl probably managed to survive was because she was crying as a result of the trauma of her attack.

Mistaken for a cub

Mr Williams said a young girl whimpering could easily be mistaken for the mewing sound of a lion cub which would explain why the lions did not eat the girl. Ethiopian lions have huge black manes which they are famous for and serve as the country’s national symbol. Lions adorn everything from the national currency to statues. Despite Ethiopia cracking down, hunters continue to kill the animals for their skins which can be sold for as much as US$1,000. It is estimated that less than 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.

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