“Some kind of miracle,” Says Tilahun Kassa, a local government official.

“Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle because normally the lions would attack people,” Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo tells over the phone from provincial capital of Bita Genet, about 350 miles southwest of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

One 12-year-old girl was abducted and being beaten by 7 men who were trying to force her to marry and have sex with one of them.

NBC news reports that the young girl who had been beaten repeatedly was found June 9th on the outskirts of Bita Genet by relatives and police. She tells them told them that she had been saved and guarded by for about half a day.

lions-save-girlWondimu says,

“They 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.”

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Stuart Williams, a wildlife expert with the rural development ministry, had said that they girl was able to survive because of her crying from the attack.

“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,” Williams said.

Image: Zoo Club

Image: Zoo Club

The Ethiopian lions which are famous for their large black manes are interestingly the country’s national symbol. a

Sadly, hunters continue to kill the animals for their skins, which can fetch $1,000. Williams said that it is estimated that only 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.

Article: NBC News