Lion Mauls Owner of South African Wildlife Park

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Hodge and his wife started off raising lions in 2003 on a farm about 18 miles from Thabazimbi. The lion quickly spots him and chases him as he runs for a metal gate.

The graphic and potentially upsetting footage, which can be viewed below, shows the lion apparently being led away from the enclosure's entrance by a park worker on the other side of a wire fence, when the elderly man opens a door and enters.

In a tragic incident, a wildlife park owner was wounded by a lion after he entered the animal's cage at the Marakele Predator Park in South Africa. Marakele remains closed for now.

Mr Hodge was rescued after a gun was sacked, causing the lion to drop him and run away.

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.

Nearly instantly the big cat spots the elderly man, believed to be the owner of the park, and gives chase.

An onlooker can be heard screaming: "Somebody help, please!"

A friend who did not want to be named told the Sun Online: "He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong".

Ngoepe said the man sustained injuries to his neck and jaw.

Mike Hodge was attacked by the big cat at the Makarele Predator Centre in Thabazimbi, South Africa, seconds after going into its enclosure.

The lion is finally scared away by gunshots, leaving the man's motionless body lying in the bushes.

Adding of the moment the lion pounced on Hodge, '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'.

Shamba was killed after the attack, a family friend, Bernadette Maguire, told The Telegraph.