On a Ukraine safari, a place you actually wouldn’t expect to experience lions or a safari, what has been described as an “over-friendly lion” climbed straight into a vehicle.
In the video, the calm lion can be seen laying in the Sun before the vehicle pulls up. The lion is instantly friendly and has a composure very much like a giant house cat, as the driver put his hand out, and in response the giant cat decided to come give him a big “hug.”
The lion jumped into this vehicle in Crimea, Ukraine at the Taigan Safari Park, a place where just weeks ago, a woman was injured at the very same attraction. The two year old lion was as friendly as a giant dog or cat, going so far as to even lick a woman’s face out of pure affection.
According to one article:
“It’s a brave man who drives an open-sided buggy full of tourists in to a lion enclosure. Park owner and self-professed ‘lion whisperer’, Oleg Zubkov, is that very man, it seems.
Forcing Oleg out of the drivers seat, however, it looked like the big cat was in charge, putting his paws on the steering while, nuzzling up to the tourists and, remarkably, remaining quite friendly throughout the whole incident.”
The tourists didn’t flinch or move a muscle either, for some reason being incredibly relaxed as the lion named Filya climbed straight in their vehicle like an over-sized house cat.
This park in Crimea is known for allowing tourists very close contact to the animals, in the Ukrainian “bread basket of Europe.”
Make no mistake however, this is an incredibly rare occurrence. Lions indeed are predators by nature and very formidable ones to human beings at that.
A while back, a modest warning sign to people that says “do NOT mess with lions” came in the form of a video from Serengeti National Park in the African country of Tanzania.
In the video, a truck stops in the park with a massive lion not far away. The tourist was about to voluntarily sacrifice his limb to the lion, extending his hand out to it as if something bad wouldn’t happen. Of course, the lion made a violent gesture and thankfully spared the man.
The safari the man was on, Wildlife Sightings’ spokesperson was quick to point out that the tourist they helped around the park was breaking the rules, in an action that was “incredibly stupid and ignorant.”
Sometimes lions are known to seek shade from the hot sun under vehicles, but it doesn’t mean they’re trying to be social with human beings. According to Wildlife Sightings:
“… this doesn’t mean that they trust humans.
To try to touch [a lion] is incredibly stupid and ignorant of the tourist that filmed the sighting.”
Naas Smith, a safari ranger from South Africa added:
“It could also just have easily crashed its way through the open window and torn into those inside. They were lucky to get away with it.
They are wild animals who concluded that park rangers would probably have had to euthanise the lion if it had killed or injured the tourist.”
Lions are top of the food chain predators no doubt, despite how beautiful or magnetically interesting they may be.