A worker in a game reserve in South Africa was mauled to death by a lioness while on a routine round to pump water, a wildlife spokesman said Wednesday.

The 45-year-old man was killed Monday morning in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi wildlife park, in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, where he had worked for 16 years.

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“He suffered injuries to his neck and thigh and died instantly,” said Musa Mntambo, spokesman for the regional conservation agency, Ezemvelo Wildlife.

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A colleague escaped the attack and called for help.

The lioness, who was found to be sick, was later put down, the spokesman said.

Attacks on humans are often attributed to old or ill lions too weak to hunt their normal, more agile, prey.

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In June 2015, an American tourist was killed by a lion when it attacked her through an open car window while driving through a park outside Johannesburg.