Animals Video

By Ellie Duncombe


This lion gave a man the world’s scariest bear hug.

Tourist Ted Papastefan got the chance to have the ultimate up close experience with a lion by posing for a photoshoot with the animal.

PIC FROM CATERS NEWS

But the lion decided to make it slightly more intimate.

The predator appears to be enjoying a belly rub in the sunshine when Ted, from Illinois, moves his hand away.

At that moment the 19-month-old Napoleon snaps onto his back and begins to paw at the defenceless man.

He then climbs on top of him and appears to try and mate with him, before Ted manages to wriggle free.

Napoleon then lightly mauls him before a handler moves in to separate the two.

PIC FROM CATERS NEWS

Ted said: “The lion’s strength was incredible and he had no trouble throwing me around.

“During my photo shoot, I was getting instructions from Botha, when the lion turned on me.

“I had to keep his claws from my face, because his claws were very sharp and powerful.

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“When the lion got on top of me, I thought that he wanted to play. I then realized that he wasn’t playing, he was trying to mate with me. I couldn’t believe it!

Despite the lion getting a little rough, Ted has great memories of the experience.

He has also shown the video to his friends, who have had mixed reactions.

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Ted said: “I would absolutely do it again, in was an awesome experience.

“I’ve interacted with many lions and lion cubs in South Africa and Zambia, but this was by far my favourite encounter, because the owners were less restrictive and allowed me to have fun with him.

“After the interaction, I had several scratches, bruises and a few puncture wounds, but it was well worth it!

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“Most of my friends thought that it was amazing, although they think I’m crazy for playing with such a dangerous animal.

“Several friends said that that the video gave them anxiety. But my son Stanley thought that it was so cool!”