Video Shows Man Stroking Caged Lion Like It's A House Cat, Gets Severely Injured

Lynne Versluys 14 Apr 2019

Further proof that you should never, ever pet a wild animal, no matter how fluffy.

Don't Pet Wild Animals. Just Don't.

Unsplash | Moe Thet Oo

Listen, I understand the impulse. Look at those ears. They look made for scratching behind. However, as nature has proven time and time again, it is never a good idea to touch a wild animal. This will only end in pain.

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A History Of Poor Decision Making


As humans, we often let a moment of excitement get the best of us — particularly when adrenaline is involved. While those who seek adventure and excitement sometimes experience the coolest things, they also get closest to danger on a regular basis, much like the stories below.

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Jaguar Attack

Wildlife World

A few months ago, a woman visiting an Arizona Zoo crossed a barrier inside a jaguar exhibit in order to capture a selfie with the big cat.

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The jaguar attacked the woman, it's claws digging deep into her arm. Other visitors noticed the attack, and used a water bottle to distract the jaguar. She managed to escape with non-life threatening injuries.

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History Repeats Itself


It seems like no matter how many stories make the rounds, people still make the same mistakes when it comes to wild animals.

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Visiting A Game Lodge

Unsplash | Luke Tanis

The latest incident that proves the rule happened to Pieter Nortje, a 55-year-old South African man, when he reached through an electric fence (first mistake) at the game center Tikwe River Lodge to pet a lion. His arm was promptly maimed.

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Unfortunate Foreshadowing

Twitter | @ali_naka

The man can be seen sticking his arm through the fence and petting a lion, joking to his wife, "If you bite me, then I'm going to bite you back."

A female lioness then interjects and bites down on his arm, cutting through to bone.

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Panicked Wife

Twitter | @ali_naka

The lioness maintains it's bite for a full five seconds, while the man's wife can be heard screaming, "It's biting him! It's biting him!"

Onlookers watched and yelled in horror long enough to distract the lion and release Nortje's arm.

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His Injuries

Unsplash | joel herzog

Nortje was rushed to Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein. Accord to reports, he’s in serious condition and suffering from septic shock.

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It's A Wild Animal

Unsplash | Jayden Brand

A spokesperson for the Tikwe River Lodge released a statement absolving themselves from the attack:

"There are warning signs everywhere. Nortje stuck his hand through the electric fence to touch the lions and was bitten."

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Listen To The Game Ranger!

Unsplash | Michael Rodock

A game ranger from the lodge also explained the severity of the situation.

"The man was lucky that the lioness was probably not hungry or not used to killing live prey outside in the wild.

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'Pack Animals'

Wikimedia | joel herzog

The game ranger explained that it could have been much worse:

Lions are pack animals and hunt as a team so others in the enclosure could easily have joined in and if they had done [they would have] killed him whether there was a fence between them or not.

Some people never learn that where wild animals are concerned, keep a distance between them and you."

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A Terrible Mistake

Nortje's wife Ilze caught the interaction on video, which we've embedded here. It's pretty traumatic, so watch it at your own risk.

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Very Little Sympathy

Most commentators online have had very little sympathy for the man, as he went against the rules of the establishment, and common sense.

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