Europe | Sep 10, 2018

Young Lion Meets Tourists, Joins In Their Vehicle

Lion breaks into tourist vehicle on Crimea safari tour.

A lion jumped into an open vehicle full of tourists in an attempt to get better acquainted with the guests at Safari Park.

The purpose of a safari for nature lovers is above all to observe animals closely in the wild. But it does not have to be very close like in their case. A lion apparently wanted to take over the tourist vehicle.

In the Ukrainian Taigan Safari Park, a tourist group comes closer to the young lion during a safari, suddenly it climbs into the open safari vehicle and seems to want to take the wheel by displacing the driver from the seat. The driver however reacted anything but was not scared, the lion cleared the drivers place while he strokes the mane of the proud animal. With a gentle pat on the backside, he could finally direct the lion out of the driver's cab. It wasn't that easy for the "big-boy cat" to get away from its cuddly course and nestles against people in the back seats.

Unlike lions in the wild, many animals in the Taigan Safari Park are tamed and harmless. The tourists were quite taken with the graceful animal return the advances and make group seizures.

From the experience of the animal keeper Mr. Oleg Zubkov such scenes are no exception. He lets participants of his safaris more often to get in touch with the animals. And thus risks the health of the guests. Because such encounters can turn out quite differently, an incident a few weeks another lion of the same Taigan Safari Park, attacked park visitor Olga Solomina. It simply bit my arm and pulled me away like a doll, Solomina reported. "I said goodbye to my life and thought, now I'm torn into pieces."

Olga was rescued by zookeeper Oleg, who despite the life-threatening incident wants to continue the proximity between visitors and lions. He believes that Solomina, the Park visitor, had dealt roughly with the lion and was drunk.

Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)

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