Woman mauled by cheetahs in South African game park

London, May 4 (IANS) A woman tourist from Britain in a South African game park was mauled by two cheetahs in a horrific attack.

Violet D'Mello was petting the "tame" cats in the petting area of Kragga Kamma Game Park with other tourists when they began attacking an eight-year-old girl. The woman watched in horror as they clawed and bit her leg, The Sun reported.

Suddenly, the cheetahs left the girl and began eyeing the little girl's seven-year-old brother who was trying to flee. Just as D'Mello tried to intervene, the two animals turned their attention to her.

She said: "It all happened so fast. After his sister was free, the boy ran. As I stopped him, something jumped me from behind."

D'Mello's husband was outside the cage during her ordeal.

A cheetah knocked her to the ground before gnawing at her head. "Something inside me just said, 'Don't move. Don't move at all. Don't react, just play dead'."

Just as a guide at the park pulled the cat away, the other pitched in, pinning her to the ground and biting her legs.

D'Mello could finally escape only after other tourists teamed up to pull the cats off her.