Lion mauls British wildlife park owner Mike Hodge at South African sanctuary

The elderly make runs for safety as the lion turns to pursue him to the gate

Suddenly, Mr Hodge is seen running for the gate of Shamba's enclosure before being brought down just short, his body crashing against the fence.

A report via the UK's Sun told of Hodge being attacked as he entered a lion's enclosure at the Marakele Predator Park inSouth Africa. The park has been closed and it is believed the lion was put down.

Visitors to the park are able to watch animals being fed up close, with at least a dozen big cats living on the property.

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.

However, police spokesman Motlafela Mojapelo said on Tuesday that police are investigating a lion attack in the Thabazimbi area of Limpopo province, and that the man who was attacked is in intensive care with jaw and neck injuries.

After coming from the United Kingdom to South Africa in 1999, Mike and Chrissy Hodge started off with their Lion project in 2003 out on a farm 30kms from Thabazimbi.

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A friend who did not want to be named told the Sun Online: "He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong". The park owner then gets dragged towards the bushes while onlookers scream and look on in despair.

The founder of a private animal reserve in South Africa is reportedly in serious condition after being mauled by a lion in front of shocked bystanders.

The lion then releases Hodge from his grip and runs away.

Mr Hodge was rescued after a gun was sacked, causing the lion to drop him and run away.

As the animal pulls the man further into the bushes, gunshots rang out, which caused the lion to flee. Unfortunately, as he wasn't fast enough, the lion caught hold of him and dragged him away.

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