This video — filmed around 3 o’clock this morning, December 31, on Hans Van der Klerk’s estate in Bridgehampton — should put this argument about the veracity of the Hamptons lions story to bed, once and for all.
We’ve edited the original seven minutes of footage down to about two minutes, which clearly capture several roars on Van der Klerk’s property, as well as mysterious fur that appears to be from a passing male lion. There was also some strange truck activity on the grounds at a weirdly late hour.
For those who don’t know, the South African billionaire industrialist Hans Van der Klerk brought in 26 South African lions to thin the deer herd around his property in Bridgehampton and throughout the Hamptons. Despite laws against numerous species of wild animals, African lions are not among the banned species in the Hamptons, so Van der Klerk was able to release the beasts without any intervention from local authorities.
The plan worked, and he has since collected the lions.
Before Van der Klerk stepped in, the East End had been planning to cull the local deer herd using federal sharpshooters. You can’t make this stuff up — only in the Hamptons!