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Lifestyle British park owner mauled by lion recovering in hospital — here's why he went inside the enclosure

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The 72 year old man was attacked by a lion he raised from birth

play Mike Hodge was attacked by a lion at his own safari park on Saturday

The British owner of a wildlife park in South Africa is in hospital after being mauled by a lion he raised from birth.

72 year old Michael Hodge sustained injuries around his neck and a broken jaw from the horrifying attack which led to the killing of Shamba the lion.

play Mike Hodge, pictured with his wife Chrissy, was attacked by a lion at his own safari park on Saturday (Facebook)

 

Family spokesperson Bernadette Maguire said that the incident had occured on Saturday as Hodge was showing tourists around the sanctuary.

She also added that they are "devastated" by the loss of the lion which they raised from a cub.

Kwaito musician Arthur Mafokate shared an Instagram picture of Mr Hodge recovering at Johannesburg’s Milpark hospital:

Smell

According to The Sun newspaper, the park owner was investigating a smell in the lion’s enclosure when the predator attacked him.

“Mike and one of his rangers were a little concerned about a smell in a compound that was upsetting one of the lions and had gone in through the gate to see what was causing it," said a friend to Mr Hodge.

"It had put the lion on edge but when Mike went in the lion turned and came for him and he ran but couldn't get through the gate quick enough and it had him.

He added that something went wrong given that Mr Hodge knows how to interact with lions.

Marakele Predator Centre, which Mr Hodge owns, remains closed.