WATCH: Lion Gets Up Close and Personal, Stares Down Camera

by Lauren Boisvert

Here’s more evidence that lions are utterly majestic and, honestly, kind of sassy. In a video courtesy of GG Conservation on Instagram, a large male lion gives the camera an intense side-eye before looking away like he wasn’t doing anything. 

He then looks back with another quick sideways glance, then turns fully to the camera and shows off his adorable face. Now, I know this thing could kill me slowly and horribly, but it still just looks like a big kitty cat. He even slow-blinks at the camera, the universal cat signal for love. Though, that last glance at the camera was kind of judgy. Is this lion trying to start a fight? Because he’ll win it every time. 

This is a neat video, but you have to be crazy brave, crazy dumb, or crazy used to lions to get this close to one. Although, this video was taken at a sanctuary, Glen Gariff Conservation in South Africa. So, it’s possible the lions there are used to human interaction. 

GG Conservation aims “to love, protect and preserve the magnificent lions in our care,” according to its mission statement. In 1902, the last wild lions were hunted down on Platberg Mountain. 100 years later, GG introduced its first lions to the sanctuary. GG aims to help sustain the lion population in South Africa, and currently has over 70 lions in its care.

Man Mauled to Death By Lion In Alleged Attempt to Steal Cub

In other news, a man was killed when he jumped into a lion enclosure at the Accra Zoo in Ghana and allegedly tried to steal one of the cubs. Apparently, the lions in the enclosure attacked and mauled him to death. Zoo employees found his body on Monday, August 29. The Forestry Commission and police have yet to determine the man’s true motive, but there is some speculation that he was trying to steal one of the two cubs.

“The intruder was attacked and injured by one of the lions, within the inner fencing of the enclosure,” the Forestry Commission said in a statement. The statement clarified that the male and female lions, plus the two young cubs, remained inside the enclosure.

Zookeepers were able to keep the lions and cubs away from the man’s body when he was found. They coaxed the animals into a secure holding area, while police arrived and removed the man’s body.

“We’re investigating the case to establish how the man got into the restricted area,” a police spokesperson commented. The Accra Zoo assured the public that safety is their highest priority. They are working to “ensure all facilities remain secure,” according to a statement from the zoo. While maulings and attacks at zoos and animal sanctuaries are rare, they can happen. Usually, if someone scales the walls or fences and enters the animal enclosures.