Lion mauls British wildlife park owner Mike Hodge at South African sanctuary

Tonya Becker
May 2, 2018

After coming from the United Kingdom to South Africa in 1999, Mike and Chrissy Hodge started off with their Lion project in 2003 out on a farm 30kms from Thabazimbi. (Twitter) Mike Hodge is seen running from the lion as it approaches him from behind.

The owner of a South African wildlife park was viciously attacked by one of his lions in a horrifying episode caught on tape.

A police spokesperson told the Associated Press that the man suffered jaw and neck injuries and is intensive care. At one moment, he lost the grip over the man but again latched on to him to make the final attack amidst the screams for help from onlookers.

The injured man is believed to have set up the "predator park" in 2003 after emigrating to Thabazimbi from the United Kingdom in the late 1990s.

"It had put the lion on edge but when Mike went in the lion turned and came for him and he ran but couldn't get through the gate quick enough and it had him", said Mike.

It has become a routine of a sort to step inside animals' enclosure, a mistake that could have proven fatal for Briton owner of Marakele Predator Park in South Africa.

"He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong", she added.

The founder of a private animal reserve in South Africa is reportedly in serious condition after being mauled by a lion in front of shocked bystanders.

"Get a rifle, somebody get a rifle just in case".

According to multiple reports, the animal has reportedly been put down following the attack. The animal notices him and then charges as Hodge tries to head toward the metal door of the encasement to escape. The attack is now being investigated and it is not immediately clear what caused the animal to snap.

Debbie Wagner said: 'So sad that the lion is only doing what comes naturally to him.

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