Safari trips are often fodder for great stories to bring home. It’s not so often, however, that these stories are captured on video. In this case, tourists lived to tell the tale of the time a curious lion bit and pulled the door handle of their car while passing through Kruger National Park in South Africa.
A young male lion was travelling with a group of six when they encountered the car caravan. It was 5 a.m. and the pride was just waking up and stretching its legs. The young male in the group stopped to investigate the cars a bit more thouroughly.
The tourists stopped in the middle of the road, while their friends drove ahead and began filming the event. “He started to sniff around the car,” 36-year-old Bronwyn Hattingh recalled. “And then with his lower jaw tried to open Anri’s right passenger door. Twice you could hear the handle opening and closing.”
One theory as to why the lion was so curious about the car is that a few days prior, a different lion had been rubbing up on the same door. The scent of that lion may have been what attracted this young male. (Learn more about African lions.)
The event was certainly a startling one, but the passengers were able to remain calm, and even found it a bit humorous. Hattingh said, “[These lions] are bored and naughty, let’s get out of here.” Thankfully nobody panicked and both the lions and people all went safely on their way.