A postman delivering a newspaper with a front page story about a dog attack was himself attacked by two pit bulls that ended up mauling the man to death.
The incident happened in Cape Town, South Africa, where a 57-year-old man known locally as Willie was delivering newspapers. As the U.K.’s The Sun reported in a recounting of the incident, the man was attacked by two pit bulls that were serving as guard dogs for a home along his delivery route.
The man was badly wounded in the pit bull attack and was able to escape, though he did not make it far. He reportedly collapsed in the street in a pool of blood, where he later died.
The owner of the dogs, a man named Andy Wareley, told the Daily Voice that the animals were normally kept in the backyard but were brought to the front while the home was being cleaned.
The postman was familiar with the dogs, Wareley said, but something set off the animals.
“The man was at the gate and my daughter told him not to come inside but he said he knew the dogs and came in to play with Patches,” Wareley said (via The Sun). “I think the dogs heard my daughter telling him to leave and must have become protective or the other dog might have become jealous.”
“When my wife came outside, she saw the dogs were already on top of the man. He ran out and fell outside of the property.”
In a bit of irony, the postman was delivering newspapers that had a front page story about another dog attack that left members of a family injured.
The mauling death in South Africa was reminiscent of another recent tragedy in the United States. In May, a 3-week-old girl named Susannah Jean Murray was killed when the family’s pit bull attacked her. A report from USA Today noted that the girl was left alone for a few minutes and family members returned to find the infant bleeding with a severe head injury. The family’s pit bull was found nearby with blood around its mouth.
Neighbors had said that the family’s pit bulls were especially aggressive, and would often escape from the home’s fence and chase people in the neighborhood. Local police quarantined the dogs responsible for the attack, and used the incident to warn the public about the dangers of leaving children unattended with animals — especially aggressive ones.
Police in South Africa said the mauling death of the postman is under investigation, and it is not clear if the owner of the dogs is facing any charges. The man said both animals were put down after the attack.
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