Earlier this year, a great-gran was mauled to death in her own back garden by her neighbour’s dogs.

The two American bulldogs rushed through a fence before viciously attacking Lucille Downer, who was 85.

She was killed in April at her home in Rowley Regis, West Mids.

Lucille suffered from dementia and had been planning to celebrate her birthday with family before being killed by the bulldogs.

Cops later confirmed that both dogs were humanely destroyed after the horror incident.

Here we take a look at some other Brits who suffered painful deaths or grisly injuries after coming into close contact with an animal.

Shark attack

Richard Martyn Turner was eaten by a shark during a luxury holiday, where he was celebrating his wife’s 40th birthday.

He went missing while snorkelling off the French island of Réunion before his hand and forearm were found inside the stomach of a huge 9ft tiger shark.

His wife Verity identified the gruesome remains and recognised her husband’s wedding ring.

It is not known whether Richard drowned in the Indian Ocean before the shark pounced or whether the predator attacked while he was swimming.

Richard was originally from the north west of England but was working as a civil servant in Edinburgh before his untimely death in November 2019 aged 44.

Tiger tragedy

Zoo keeper Rosa King was savaged by a tiger after going into its enclosure to clean the viewing windows.

Unfortunately, the 33-year-old never made it out alive after the Malayan male struck.

The tiger dragged her body to the viewing platform after killing her.

Her bloodied and mutilated body was then eventually discovered by a visitor at Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire in May 2017.

She suffered a severed spinal cord and an inquest later ruled the death was accidental.

Rosa had not realised that a metal slide, which kept the animals separated from humans, was open when she went in to clean.

Crocodile horror


Paul McClean's life was cut short after a crocodile dragged him into a river and pulled him underwater.

The 24-year-old from Thames Ditton in Surrey had been washing his hands in the water when he was snatched by the beast.

His body was found in a lagoon south of Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, in September 2017.

Paul was a Financial Times journalist and after his death the paper said in a statement: “We are heartbroken by the tragic and untimely death of one our journalists, Paul McClean.

“He was a talented and valued member of our team with a bright career ahead of him.”

Polar bear mauling

Horatio Chapple was killed after a polar bear “ripped him from a tent” before fatally mauling him during an Arctic expedition.

Eton schoolboy Horatio, from Sailisbury, was just 17 when he was killed on the trip to Svalbard, Norway, in August 2011.

The teenager was asleep when the bear approached and ripped open the tent.

Four others were hurt before a group leader shot the animal dead.

After his death, Horatio’s family paid tribute to his “unfaltering courage”.

Cat bite

In 2018, an unnamed Brit died of rabies after being bitten by a cat in Morocco.

The tragic Briton was holidaying when the rabid cat struck – but immediate and potentially life saving treatment was not given.

The NHS guidelines state: “Rabies is a rare but very serious condition of the brain and nerves.

“It’s usually caught from the bite or scratch of an infected animal, most often a dog.

“Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear, but treatment before this is very effective.”

The NHS added that rabies it is not found in the UK, aside from a small number of wild bats.

There is also a vaccination tourists can get before travelling to Asia, Africa, and Central and South America to avoid being infected.

Lion attack survivor

Not all animal attacks are deadly.

British born Mike Hodge was mangled by a lion who he’d raised from a cub – but remarkably survived.

The lion broke his owner’s jaw and dragged him around the Marakele Predator Centre in South Africa.

But safari park owner Mike was left even more devastated when the lion, named Shamba, was shot dead during the incident in May 2018.

After the attack Mike was airlifted to hospital for life saving surgery.

He also suffered severe and deep bites and claw wounds to his body but was said to be more traumatised by his lion being killed than his own injuries.

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