Farmer’s Weekly – 23 August 2019

(Kiana) #1
as a precaution. A lion and lioness
appeared in the middle of the
trail ahead of him. There was no
doubting their intentions! They
were poised to pounce and attack.
It was too late to get his rifle
into position, so Wolhuter spun
his horse around to escape just as
the lion slammed into the animal.
Wolhuter was knocked
out of his saddle and hit the
ground hard. In an instant
the lion seized his right
shoulder between its jaws and
started to drag him away.
The lioness pursued the
terrified horse through the
dark bush away from the
scene, with Bull in pursuit.
Wolhuter was in agony as the
huge beast dragged him in a
half-sitting position for some
distance. The lion’s rank mane
made it difficult to breathe
and Wolhuter’s clothes were
becoming sticky from his
blood. He prayed desperately
that the lion would first kill
him and not eat him alive.
Then, in his agony, he
remembered the skinning
knife hanging from his belt.
He twisted and turned and,
eventually, with his left hand,
grabbed the handle and slid
the knife out of the sheath.

Death in the bush
Calling upon his remaining
strength, Wolhuter lunged
upward and felt the sharp
knife sink into the lion’s flesh
up to its hilt. Again he plunged
the 15cm blade towards the
lion’s heart. It didn’t lessen
its grip on his shoulder!
With a desperate third stab,
jugularvein.It droppedhimand
a tree.Witha superhuman

into the fork, where he passed
out safely wedged into
position by his neckerchief
tied around the branch.
He regained consciousness
to find the lioness at the foot
of the tree looking up at him!
As it attempted to claw its way
up, Wolhuter yelled at the top
of his voice so as to scare the
beast away. He then heard the
welcome sound of Bull barking
and coming ever closer.
His faithful dog flew at the
lioness and sank his teeth into
its hind leg. With a roar it spun
around and faced Bull, who
kept his distance and out of
reach of its deadly claws.
Then the lioness backed
off into the bush followed by
Bull, barking furiously.
It returned later that night, but
again Bull kept it away from his
master. Shortly before dawn,
suffering acutely from pain
and thirst, Wolhuter heard his
trackers approaching with the
pack-donkeys and other dogs.

still there
After an unbelievable journey,
the party finally reached
Pretorius Kop, carrying Wolhuter
on a stretcher made from
branches lashed together. He
was then carried for a further
five days to the hospital in
Komatipoort. The doctors were
amazed and all agreed a man
in a lesser physical condition
would never have survived.
The site of Wolhuter’s attack
can be found on the S35 gravel
road, a short distance from
the Tshokwane picnic site.
upina concreteplinth.

  • Source:TheLowvelder;
    Africa(A DDonker).

  • GrahamJoosteis anauthorand
    at [email protected].
    Subjectline:Greattales. ▪FW

His famous encounter with
the lions came about as follows.
It had been a blistering hot
day, and Wolhuter was
travelling ahead of the others,
in the coolness of the night
under a bright moon. He was
looking for a watering hole.
Suddenly his horse became
agitated. There was a rustle in the
bush and he reached for his rifle

23 august 2019 farmer’sweekly 55

Ranger Harry
(187 7-1964).
Colonel James
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