Shamba the lion mauls owner who raised him

The owner of an animal sanctuary in Cape Town, South Africa has been mauled by a lion he helped raise.

Shamba the lion was the main attraction at the Marakele Animal Sanctuary, owned by Mike Hodge. Mr Hodge hand-reared and bottle-fed Shamba as a cub.

On Saturday, Shamba was lured away from the gate of his enclosure in a routine operation which allows Hodge to exit the enclosure on foot.

The distraction did not work, and Shamba chased after his owner as Hodge tried frantically to get back inside a vehicle. The lion pounced on Hodge and dragged him into the bushes. 

Tourists within the vehicle screamed in shock as they watched their guide being mauled by the lion.

The sound of bullets being fired ended the ordeal; Shamba was shot to save his owner.

Mike Hodge was airlifted to a Johannesburg hospital where he is being treated for severe lacerations and a broken jaw. His family are devastated by the loss of the 10-year old lion.

The incident has given greater voice to concerns about the ethics of raising lions in captivity.

Newsub.