American tourist attacked and killed by a lion in South Africa

Two unidentified lionesses are pictured at The Lion Park in Johannesburg, Aug. 20, 2014 (Source: The Lion Park)

An American tourist inside a car was killed and a tour operator was injured in an attack by a lion at a park near Johannesburg, South Africa, a spokesman for The Lion Park told ABC News.

Staff members hurried into an enclosure at the park to fight off the lion and called an ambulance after the attack took place around 2:30 p.m. local time, or 8:30 a.m. ET, the spokesman, Scott Simpson told ABC News.

The woman, who was in the passenger seat of a car and has not been identified, died while emergency services were treating her, Simpson said, adding that the driver of the car, a tour operator, sustained injuries on his arm from fighting off the lion.

Witnesses quoted in South African media said they saw two people traveling in a car with their windows open. The lion is reported to have jumped at the woman through the open window and killed her.

A State Department official confirmed an American was killed at the park but declined further comment.

The lion responsible for the attack will not be euthanized, but could be moved to a private location, Simpson told ABC News.

Earlier this year, a lion attacked an Australian tourist in his car, though that tourist did not die from his injuries, Simpson added. He said the park has not had a fatal attack since the current management took over in 1999.

ABC News’ Sifiso Khanyile in South Africa contributed to this report.

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