Man mauled by South African lion, graphic video shows

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Mike Hodge's decision to get up, close and personal with a lion, dubbed as the king of jungle turned into a nightmarish experience. The lion came pouncing upon Hodge who tried making a run to the gate, but he was grabbed by the lion's paws before he could escape.

A lion was captured on video attacking a wildlife park owner on the grounds of his facility.

Mr Hodge had entered the lion's enclosure over concerns about a smell in the compound that was upsetting the creature, according to a report in The Sun Online.

Screams then erupt from onlookers as Mike is dragged across the grass, unable to move.

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Mike Hodge, a 67-year-old British man, can be seen in the footage trying to evade the animal at the Makarele Predator Centre in Thabazimbi, South Africa.

'He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong'. Unfortunately, as he wasn't fast enough, the lion caught hold of him and dragged him away.

South African Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said that Mr Hodge suffered neck and jaw wounds in the attack on Monday.

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.

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In the background a man can be heard shouting 'get a rifle'.

One of 33 lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Columbia is released at its final destination: an animal sanctuary in South Africa's Limpopo province.

A video of the incident was also shot by onlookers, where Hodge could be first seen entering the animal's enclosure and then trying to run away from it.

The big cat's victim calls out for help in front of screaming bystanders before a number of gunshots can be heard to ring out.

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Whatever be the noble thought of the man, he found himself under attack from the predator who had nearly gone for the kill.