7

The story goes, with a youtube video:

A 12-year-old girl was kidnapped in Ethiopia, beaten, and almost forced into an awful and disgusting marriage, but luckily, that marriage didn't happen because she was saved by LIONS.

... Here's what the police said:

“[The lions] stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest. If the lions had not come to her rescue, then it could have been much worse. Often these young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage. Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people."

Where did this story originate? Is that source reputable?

  • 1
    Here's a 2005 variant. Note that in this one, "Wondimu" is no longer the name of the precinct, but the name of the police officer. – Oddthinking Oct 18 '14 at 15:47
  • This is setting off my glurge alarm. – GordonM May 25 '16 at 8:46
9

Where did this story originate? Is that source reputable?

Here's the BBC's version of it: Kidnapped girl 'rescued' by lions

Sergeant Wondmu Wedaj told the media from Bita Genet, some 560 kilometres (348 miles) south-west of the capital, Addis Ababa, that they found the girl alive but shocked and terrified.

To be honest it doesn't say that the lions deliberately rescued her, but that they chased off her kidnappers.

This reprint of an Associated Press article adds,

The girl, missing for a week, had been taken by seven men who wanted to force her to marry one of them, said Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo, speaking by telephone from the provincial capital of Bita Genet, about 350 miles southwest of Addis Ababa.

She was beaten repeatedly before she was found June 9 by police and relatives on the outskirts of Bita Genet, Wondimu said. She had been guarded by the lions for about half a day, he said. "They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest," Wondimu said.

"If the lions had not come to her rescue, then it could have been much worse. Often these young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage," he said. Tilahun Kassa, a local government official who corroborated Wondimu, said one of the men had wanted to marry the girl against her wishes.

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    Unless someone else has something to add I'm cool hanging with the link to and credibility of the BBC and calling this verified. – Brian M. Hunt Oct 18 '14 at 23:54
  • I guess it's the credibility of the Sgt., of the local govt. official, and of the Associated Press; but I see no reason to doubt it. Lions are, apparently, rare but not yet extinct, in Ethiopia. – ChrisW Oct 19 '14 at 0:03
  • This story is about as verified as its ever likely to get. The issue here is that even the Sgt's account is second hand (I assume they were not observing the situation for half a day) and trauma victims (our only first hand account) are often unreliable witnesses. – fgysin May 30 '16 at 11:02

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