Zaka emergency service founder clawed by lioness in Africa

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav not feeling the love tonight, after altercation with big cats on safari; gets tetanus shot, but no further treatment

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, chairman and founder of the ZAKA voluntary emergency service organization, was clawed by a lioness while in South Africa on Wednesday.

Despite the swipe, Meshi-Zahav said he did not require any medical treatment beyond a tetanus shot.

The ZAKA founder, along with other members of his team, were in Africa for training and team-building and used a day off to visit a safari and see the big cats up close.

Meshi-Zahav was walking with two lionesses, stroking one’s back, when it suddenly turned and jumped on him, scratching him and pushing him to the ground. He was rescued from further injury by the park wardens and a friend who was filming the incident.

He told Hadashot news (formerly Channel 2) that he had received instruction from the park’s wardens before interacting with the big animals, and was carrying a stick, which staff had told him would prevent the lions from attacking.

As he fell, he clung to the stick with one hand, while trying to prevent his kippa falling off with his other hand, according to footage.

In a series of tweets, Meshi-Zahav joked the cat was only trying to hug him. He also noted that he had been singing a Jewish song about lions, and apparently it didn’t enjoy his singing. (“Do not fear, Israel, For are you not a lion’s cub?” run the lyrics of the song “Al tirah Yisrael,” by Moshe Hillel.)

“On a more serious note, I’m fine,” Meshi-Zahav tweeted. “Just got tetanus and continue to joke around with my doctors. Thanks for the concern :)”

One pundit on Twitter joked that he should henceforth be known as Yehuda Mufasa Meshi-Zahav.

Most Popular
read more: