Couple Suing Travel Provider After Lion Tears Off Man's Arm In Tent
Patrick and Brigitte Fourgeaud were on a luxury holiday in Tanzania that they'd booked through Africa Travel Resource at the time of the incident, and claim that they are still affected by the events of that night, even years later.
The French pair were camping in Ruaha National Park in August 2015 when they awoke to find the big cat in their tent.
The animal attacked and pulled off part of Patrick's left arm.
His 63-year-old wife explained: "Several years on, it remains incredibly difficult to think about what happened that night and it still distresses us so much.
"I will never forget that moment when I woke up to see the lion there. I thought we were both going to die. The attack will stay with me for the rest of my life."
After the lion mauled 64-year-old Patrick, he had to go through extensive surgery to reconstruct the arm, and the pair have also had to endure lengthy psychological treatment to deal with the mental anguish caused.
Now the couple, from Mont-Saxonnex in France, are suing the Sussex-based travel company with whom they booked their trip.
The pair claim that Africa Travel Resource Ltd failed to provide adequate safety and security, and have chosen law firm Irwin Mitchell to represent them.
Brigitte continued: "Nothing will change what we have been through, but we both believe that more could have been done to prevent what happened and we both want to ensure that this doesn't happen to other holidaymakers again."
Leane Shanks, an international serious injury expert from Irwin Mitchell said: "Four years on from this horrific attack, Patrick and Brigitte are still trying to come to terms with the ordeal they faced that night.
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"Having always been passionate about seeing animals in the wild, and having been on several safaris in Africa in the past, they had booked this holiday to an area of Africa that they particularly loved.
"Tour operators and holiday firms have a duty of care to ensure the safety of customers, and in this case we believe this did not happen.
"Patrick and Brigitte believe that no-one was keeping a constant watch throughout the night over the camp while they were sleeping in their tents."
She continued: "In addition, they were given no adequate advice by their guide on the particular risks that night of camping in that location.
"This is astonishing when the tents were set up at a location which we understand was known to be frequented by lions and other wild animals at night.
"We are greatly concerned by a range of issues related to the organisation of Patrick and Brigitte's package holiday with Africa Travel Resource Ltd.
"Unfortunately, because Africa Travel Resource Ltd has refused to accept responsibility for the incident, Patrick and Brigitte have been left with no choice but to issue legal proceedings.
"We again call on Africa Travel Resource to work with Patrick and Brigitte to resolve this case as quickly as possible, allowing them to invest in their rehabilitation and to finally move on with their lives.
"We will continue to support Patrick and Brigitte for as long as possible to ensure that they get the answers and rehabilitation that they desperately need."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS