A 12-year-old Ethiopian girl who was abducted and beaten by 7 men, was found guarded by 3 lions who apparently chased off her captors, police report said.
Missing for about a week, the little girl was taken by seven men who wanted to force her to marry one of them. She was repeatedly beaten before she was found by the police at the outskirts of Bita Genet. The authorities are surprised with what they saw because as she was lying on the ground crying, there are 3 lions surrounding her acting like guards ready to protect and attack anyone who will come near her.
“They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest,” a police official 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 added.
“Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people,” the police official continued.
A wildlife expert with the rural development ministry, said the girl may have survived because the sound created by her continues crying resembles a mewing sound from a cub.
“A young girl whimpering could be mistaken for the mewing sound from a lion cub, which in turn could explain why they didn’t eat her,” expert said.
Kidnapping young girls has long been part of the marriage custom in Ethiopia. The United Nations estimates that more than 70 percent of marriages in Ethiopia are by abduction, practiced in rural areas.
Image source: rastafari.tv