A couple attacked by a lion while on a luxury safari in Tanzania is suing the British company that organised the holiday.
Patrick Fourgeaud, 64, had part of his arm torn off and his wife Brigitte, 63, feared they would both die when they awoke to the wild animal in their tent in the Ruaha National Park in August 2015.
They claim holiday provider Africa Travel Resource (ATR) failed in its duty of care to ensure the safety of customers during the horrific incident – but the company has denied all responsibility.
The couple, from Mont-Saxonnex, France, believed they were safe as they settled into their mesh tent for the night five years ago.
Mrs Fourgeaud awoke to find ‘an adult male lion sniffing her back’ before the lion pounced on Mr Fourgeaud.
Mr Fourgeaud had 10 procedures to reconstruct his left arm and is expected to undergo more surgery in the future, after the animal mauled him before finally being scared away.
The couple now both struggle with mental health issues, with Mrs Fourgeaud suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression.
She said: ‘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.
‘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.’
The pair, who spent three nights in another camp prior to the incident, claims there were no physical barriers put in place between the camp and wild animals in the park by ATR.
They also allege there was no surveillance in place and precautions were not taken by their guide.
Leane Shanks, of Irwin Mitchell, the law firm representing the Fourgeauds, 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
‘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.
‘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.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted ATR for further comment.
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