The heart-stopping moment a two-year-old boy was charged at by a lion at a zoo in Japan was captured on camera.
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A video filmed at Chiba Zoological Park shows the toddler and predator locking eyes for a few seconds before the boy turns his back. Instinct takes over and the lion rushes at him and pounces, only to slam into the glass wall of his enclosure.
The child is seen jumping backwards in fright.
While it might appear that the lion showed signs of hunting its prey, zookeepers said the 181kg cat simply wanted to play.
However, lion expert Adam M. Roberts, who is CEO of Born Free USA, told The Dodo: "Lions are natural wild predators and the child in this video, especially when turning his back to the massive feline, becomes prey in the animal's eyes. But luckily for the family, if the barrier had not held the consequences could have been catastrophic."