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Foolhardy Safari Tourist Learns the Hard Way Why You Should Never Try To Pet a Wild Lion

By Andrew Alpin, 25 June 2018

In spite of several incidents concerning wild animals and humans taking a bad turn, there are people who never learn. Just a few months ago, we read about how one family in England had the smart idea of getting out of their cars in an English safari park to photograph cheetahs and had to run for their lives instead, and now a similar incident has occurred in Africa although the tourists were lucky to be in their car this time. What they did get was the fright of their lives and all because they thought it would be ok to try and pet a wild lion. Now is that crazy or not?

1Why you should never touch wild animals

The cardinal rule about going on a wild safari is a very obvious one and that is never to touch the animals. Those who do are surely daft to do so. These tourists learned the hard way of what petting a lion can do in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.

Why you should never touch wild animals

Image Source: thenypost.com

2A very hot day in the Serengeti

It was a hot sunny day at Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and as usual, there were tourists exploring the area in their SUV’s. One particular SUV had drawn up beside a group of five lions and stopped to admire them.

A very hot day in the Serengeti

Image Source: www.thesun.co.uk

3The Lions decided to seek shade from the SUV

Being hotter than usual and sensing shade, the lions strode up to the stationary SUV and plonked themselves next to it. Some sat unusually close to the window and one particularly was at less than an arms length away.

The Lions decided to seek shade from the SUV

Image Source: thrillist.com

4One of the tourists had a wild idea

Needless to say, the tourists inside were both fascinated and overawed at the fact that a group of five lions was seated so close to them. One of course suddenly got some bright ideas and decided to touch one of them through the window as if she was about to pet a pussycat instead of a wild lion. Now you can’t get more ignorant than that can you?

One of the tourists had a wild idea

Image Source: cnn.com

5She actually went to pet a lion

The woman rolled down the window of the SUV, reached her hand through the window and start petting the animals thick fur. Somehow was she expecting the animal to start purring? Because that definitely wasn’t going to happen.

She actually went to pet a lion

Image Source: thrillist.com

6The animal locked eyes with her and guess what happened

While the people insider sniggered and laughed, the lion turned to look upwards and locked eyes with her. That’s when the situation took a nasty turn and what happened might have made her pee in her pants. Who knows she didn’t??

The animal locked eyes with her and guess what happened

Image Source: perthnow.com.au

7The moment when you almost pee in your pants

The male lunged and flashed his huge teeth in an ugly terrifying snarl. Growling, he bounced up against the window roaring into her face. There was, of course, a panic inside the SUV as they all hurriedly tried shutting the window.

The moment when you almost pee in your pants

Image Source: thrillist.com

8Lucky to be alive

They succeeded in closing the windows and it turned out to be the closest call for them in their lives. Speaking to the press, South African Safari ranger Naas Smit said that the tourists displayed no common sense at all and were extremely lucky to be alive.

Lucky to be alive

Image Source: twimg.com

9What the Park ranger had to say

Smith also said “Only those who work in the wild know the speed of a lion and it could have torn the arm off the person touching it. It would have the power to pull that tourist straight out of that window and kill them instantly in front of their friends. It was an incredibly stupid thing to do. “If the lion had killed this person then game rangers would probably have had to have killed it and if it was the pride male it could have serious consequences.” He added. 

What the Park ranger had to say

Image Source: meaww.com

10Safari park owner mauled by lions

Last month in May, a British safari park owner Mike Hodges was brutally mauled by a lion when he stepped into his enclosure. Mike Hodges 72 is the owner of the Marakele Animal Sanctuary in South Africa.

Safari park owner mauled by lions

Image Source: www.thesun.co.uk

11The lion was bottle fed by Hodges

The most surprising thing about the entire incident was that the lion named Shamba who attacked Hodges was brought up in the wildlife sanctuary. The animal was also bottle fed by Hodges and was given no reason to attack him.

The lion was bottle fed by Hodges

Image Source: www.thesun.co.uk

12An unfortunate incident while guiding tourists

As was the usual practice, Hodges had taken a few tourists inside the sanctuary on a ride. Chickens are placed on top of the vehicle when driving by the lions as a treat and Shambha was usually the first one to reach them. However, this time, Shambha was distracted by something and Hodges wanted to check it out. He had been in the lion’s presence several times and was never threatened by him.

An unfortunate incident while guiding tourists

Image Source: www.thesun.co.uk

13An unexpected aggression from the animal

It was totally unexpected and no one knows what prompted Shambha to attack Hodges who thought the animal was at a safe distance. When he went to see what distracted the lion, the animal lunged at him and attacked him.

An unexpected aggression from the animal

Image Source: www.thesun.co.uk

14The Lion dragged him away into the bushes

The animal then dragged Hodges away deeper into the enclosure much to the horror of everyone present. The lion was distracted from attacking Hodges further and then sadly shot. This of course has devastated Hodges and his family who look after the animals like family.

The Lion dragged him away into the bushes

Image Source: www.thesun.co.uk

15Wild animals are guided by instinct

Hodges was lucky to be alive and suffered a broken jaw with multiple lacerations. He is still under recovery. However, the family received a trolling and lashing by many on social media who are yet to understand what really happened as it wasn’t exactly Hodges fault. Because of the negative response, the park has since been closed. But then, it goes to show, wild animals are wild animals and they attack not because of emotions or by conscious decision but by instinct. They aren’t responsible for their actions which are natural. It is up to humans to maintain the balance in a relationship and always be careful.

Wild animals are guided by instinct

Image Source: www.thesun.co.uk