Contact Us
Rye Daily Voice serves Rye, NY
Return to your home site


Rye Daily Voice serves Rye, NY

Nearby Towns


Memorial Service Will Be Held For Rye Filmmaker Mauled By African Lion

Calling hours for Katherine Chappell will be Friday and Saturday followed by a noon memorial service in Rye. Photo Credit: Family photo
Kate Chappell, a visual effects editor, displays one of two Emmy awards she won during her career in TV and movie production, cut short by Monday's lion attack. Photo Credit: Instagram
Kate Chappell grew up on this tree-lined street in Rye while attending School of the Holy Child in Harrison. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Rye police parked near the Chappell family's home as friends stopped by to offer condolences Wednesday. Television news crews occasionally hovered overhead in helicopters. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

RYE, N.Y. -- Calling hours are Friday and Saturday for Katherine Chappell, the 29-year-old visual effects editor killed by a lion Monday in South Africa.

The Rye native was about to begin a two-week volunteer mission at a different wildlife preserve for elephants and rhinoceroses.

Her wake will be from 7-9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Graham Funeral Home in Rye. A memorial service will begin at noon Saturday.

Chappell is the daughter of Mary and Jonathan Chappell of Rye. She also is survived by her brother, Ryan; two sisters, Lauren Chapell and Jen Ringwald; and her brother-in-law, Steve Ringwald.

During a safari north of Johannesburg, where she was filming and photographing wild animals, Chappell was mauled by a lion that dragged her from a car, according to South African police.

Chappell died after the lioness lunged moments after she opened her window to take a photo, according to a tour guide who was driving. The guide was wounded trying to rescue Chappell, suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized, according to media reports. Chappell planned to produce a film about the dangers poachers pose to wildlife.

The visual artist had been living in Vancouver, Canada, while working for a special effects company that won an Emmy award for HBO's hit television series "Game of Thrones," and she was involved in an upcoming film "Pan," about Peter Pan.

Chappell also worked on the 2014 episode "The Children," which won a Primetime Emmy for outstanding special and visual effects.

She is credited with visual work on several movies including “Noah,” "Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Divergent” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

Chappell's boyfriend, Grayson Hoare, is Australian. The couple traveled to Australia, but he did not accompany her to South Africa, her mother told

Chappell taught herself to speak Japanese as a student at School of the Holy Child in Harrison. She received her undergraduate degree in 2008 from Hofstra University in film studies and production. In addition to Africa, she traveled to Japan, London and other parts of Europe.

Gauteng Lion Park, where the mauling occurred, allows lions to roam freely while tourists drive through. A park spokesman said the lioness who attacked Chappell and her guide will not be euthanized -- but was caged.

About 180,000 tourists visit the South African preserve each year. They are warned not to open car windows. Numerous signs and leaflets handed to visitors reinforce that policy.

South African media reported an Australian tourist was bitten by a lion in March while driving in the same park with windows open. And a teenager trying to bicycle through the park was attacked by a cheetah.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Rye Daily Voice!

Get the news you need to know on the go.

Welcome to

Rye Daily Voice!

Hi! You've read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list.

Get important news about your town as it happens.