Broken-hearted friends and family are mourning Game of Thrones visual effects editor Katherine Chappell, whose mission to protect wildlife has ended in tragedy in South Africa. The 29-year-old, a dedicated conservationist, was visiting Johannesburg’s open-air Lion Park when she was attacked and killed by a lioness earlier this week.
“Katie was a brilliant, kind, adventurous and high-spirited woman,” her sister wrote in a Facebook post. “Her energy and passion could not be contained by mere continents or oceans. She was very much loved and shared her love for life with those she met. We cannot thank everyone enough for the kind words and support. It means the world to us during this difficult time.”
Kate bid farewell to Canada, where she lived, just one week ago Photo: Instagram / @katertots85
The Emmy-winning editor, who lived in Vancouver, Canada and worked for production company Scanline, was touring an animal enclosure by car at the park, which, according to its website, provides "super close-up animal views guaranteed."
At some point, a lioness approached through Kate's open passenger-side window and “bit” her, said Lion Park assistant operations manager Scott Simpson, who also noted there is “extensive signage” in the park to keep vehicle windows shut at all times.
Her guide, the driver, suffered injuries to his arm and was hospitalized, reports NBC news. Kate, who was part of the team that won an Emmy for the 2014 Game of Thrones episode “The Children,” also worked on such movies as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Divergence.
She will be laid to rest at a memorial service in her New York hometown this weekend.