The owner of a wildlife park in South Africa suffered injuries to his neck and jaw Monday when a lion mauled him, according to a graphic video of the incident.
The video from South African news station News 24 shows Mike Hodge, 67, entering the lion’s den at Marakele Predator Centre on Monday and the animal charging at him.
Hodge ran for the gate, but the lion grabbed him by his neck and dragged him several feet. When the lion was finished with him, Hodge lay motionless on the ground.
“Somebody help, please! Oh, my God!” witnesses shouted in the background.
Several gunshots can also be heard in the background, believed to be from the game warden’s gun, the Daily Mail reported.
Police spokesperson Lt. Col. Moatshe Ngoepe told News 24 that Hodge had been taken to the hospital, where he is recuperating from “serious injuries” to his neck and jaw.
Hodge entered the lion compound to investigate the culprit of a foul smell causing discomfort to one of the lions, according to a friend of the wildlife park owner.
“Mike and one of his rangers were a little concerned about a smell in a compound that was upsetting one of the lions and had gone in through the gate to see what was causing it,” Hodge’s friend told the Sun. “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.”
“He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong,” the friend added.
According to multiple reports, the animal has reportedly been put down following the attack.
The wildlife park remains closed.