A MAN has told how he fainted after being confronted by a lioness – which let him live with just bite marks to his hands.
The lioness leapt at Joel Ngwenya, 54, knocking him to the ground with its paws.
"It looked straight into my eyes and started roaring while approaching me steadily. At that moment, intense fear engulfed me and I started sweating," Ngwenya said.
"It then came on top of me. I looked at it straight into its eyes too. It just stood there looking at me.”
To his surprise, the animal then walked away to check on its cub a few meters away.
But Ngwenya says he was pinned to the ground by fear – unable to get up and run.
He watched in horror as the lioness approached a second time.
“At that time, it started biting me on both my arms," he recounted the horror from his hospital bed at the United Bulawayo Hospitals where he is recovering from Tuesday's attack in the Jambezi area of Matabeleland North, near the Hwange National Park.
Ngwenya says he does not remember much of the attack after he fainted, overcome with fear.
He woke up to find himself in excruciating pain, with the lioness gone.
He told the Bulawayo Chronicle: "I don't know what happened. It just left me lying down and went away.”
After lions killed five of his cows in one night last week, and a sixth beast on Monday, Ngwenya recruited four other villagers to go hunting after the animals – a decision which would nearly cost him his life.
They set out on Tuesday and didn’t need to go far before they came face to face with the lioness and its cub.
His fellow lion hunters made a brisk escape into the African bush, leaving him to face the beast alone.
Ngwenya said: "I would like to urge relevant authorities to do something about these lions because our lives are in great danger.”