There are plenty of people who believe that humans are the pinnacle of the animal kingdom, a species with no match that has created civilizations and rules over all other creatures on planet Earth.
But every once in a while a wild animal will come along and remind humans that we aren’t always at the top of the food chain. On Monday, a massive lion in a South African game reserve delivered that rather vicious lesson to the reserve’s owner.
South African media outlet News 24 reported on the terrible incident that left the game reserve owner in the hospital with horrific injuries to his neck and jaw after he was mauled by the lion.
“The owner was immediately taken to hospital with serious injuries. He is currently recuperating,” stated police spokesman Lt. Col. Moatshe Ngoepe.
The brutal and disturbing incident, which lasted less than two minutes, was captured on cell phone video and uploaded to YouTube.
The video began with a worker outside of the fenced-in lion enclosure leading the large beast in one direction while the owner cautiously stepped into the pen behind the animal.
Unfortunately for him, the lion soon became aware of his presence and turned around to chase him. The man managed to make it just to the gate before the lion caught him by the back of his neck. The lion used its powerful jaws and large teeth and dragged the man toward a nearby clump of bushes.
Bystanders could be heard screaming and crying while a man shouted for others to grab a rifle, “just in case” the wild animal needed to be shot and killed to save the mauled man. All the while, the lion continued to paw at the downed man and circle what it likely viewed as prey.
Indeed, several gunshots are heard in the video — likely an effort to frighten the lion away so the reserve owner could be rescued, as it didn’t appear that the dangerous beast was shot.
A Fox News reporter named Greg Norman wrote about the disturbing incident and shared the graphic video along with a description of what had happened.
While that was all fine and good, the report ended with a rather bizarre line that has some people raising a questioning eyebrow in response.
The reporter wrote, “The attack is currently being investigated and it is not immediately clear what caused the animal to snap.”
Um … what caused the animal to snap? Well, it is a wild animal — game reserve or not — with natural instincts to attack and/or kill anything that ventures into its territory, even the game reserve owner who saved it and keeps it fed.
That is what wild animals do, what they’ve always done and what they will continue to do, regardless of how superior human beings believe themselves to be.
While people generally consider themselves to be masters of their domains — and this world is ours to master, control and exploit for our own good as conscientious stewards — our tenuous grip over the wild kingdom is much more fragile than nature itself. Nature can quite literally bite us at any point if we let down our guard or make a mistake.
To assume that something must have made this lion “snap” and attack the reserve owner is to grant it human-like attributes that it simply doesn’t possess. It is and always will be a wild animal that doesn’t need any sort of reason or provocation to do what wild animals do — attack a perceived threat or prey. It is wise for us all to keep that in mind when dealing with any sort of wild animal, big or small.
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