A rugby player from Wales had to miss a professional league match after being bitten by a lion he tried to pet at a South African game park before the match on Friday. Scott Baldwin, a hooker or forward player for Wales’ Ospreys, had to miss his team’s PRO14 match against the Cheetahs on Friday. His coach Steve Tandy called the 29-year-old “pretty stupid” for attempting to pet a lion.

“There was an incident with a lion, but in fairness it was nothing to do with the lion,” Reuters quoted the Ospreys’ coach Steve Tandy as saying. “He did bite Scott but when you put your hand in a fence where there is a lion, then you will get bitten.”

“I do not know what sort of wildlife show Scott has been watching where you can pat a lion on the head as if it is a kitten.”

Baldwin, who was admitted to a local hospital in South Africa’s Bloemfontein, apologised to his team’s fans on social media. The PRO14 is an annual rugby union competition of professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales. His team lost.

“Should [have] known he would not be impressed with me stroking his lioness before introducing myself to him first,” Baldwin posted on Twitter.