The shocking video above captures the horrifying moment a man was mauled by a lion in its enclosure. Michael Hodge, the 71-year-old owner of the wildlife sanctuary where the incident occurred, was attacked on Saturday when he walked into the lion’s enclosure at the Marakele Animal Sanctuary in South Africa.
Hodge was reportedly investigating a strange smell in the compound that was upsetting one of the lions and had gone in through the gate to see what was causing it, according to The Sun. Apparently, he knew how to deal with lions and, according to The Telegraph, Shamba, the lion who attacked him, had been hand-reared since it was a cub.
The graphic footage (trigger warning) shows Hodge entering the enclosure in a relaxed manner, while a ranger distracts the animal from outside the fence, after which the unexpected and unprovoked attack took place.
According to The Telegraph, the lion was shot and killed before Hodge was rescued and rushed to a clinic; later, he was moved to a hospital in Johannesburg. Fortunately, he survived the attack with severe but not deadly injuries to his neck and jaw.
Hodge and his wife, who founded the sanctuary in 2010 in the Limpopo region, said they were devastated over Shamba’s death. The park remains closed in the wake of the attack.
Several online viewers criticised the manner in which Shamba was killed, and defended him saying he was only acting according to animal instincts and should have been set free.