A 2-year-old boy got the scare of his life at a Japanese zoo this week.
A clip uploaded to YouTube shows a male lion pouncing at the boy before he smashes into the glass.
Remarkably the boy doesn’t run off, and he simply spins around to face the lion, with his hand held out as he stumbles backward.
Zookeepers say that the lion reportedly weighs more than 400 pounds, and they claim he often gets excited when he sees small children and wants to play, according to reports.
“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,” Lion expert Adam Roberts, chief executive of Born Free USA, told The Dodo website. “But luckily for the family, if the barrier had not held the consequences could have been catastrophic.”
The clip showed that the lion, which can run at speeds of 50mph, staring at the child.
Last Saturday, a 3-year-old child fell into a gorilla’s enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Officials were forced to shoot and kill it. The move drew outrage from around the world, and it also prompted questions about zoo safety and how parents should take care of their children at zoos.
This week, Cincinnati police questioned the boy’s mother, 32-year-old Michelle Gregg, but reports now say they won’t recommend criminal prosecution.
The Cincinnati Enquirer, which obtained a police report, stated: “Police have wrapped up their investigation without recommending charges against the mother of a 3-year-old boy who witnesses said fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo, according to a source close to the investigation.”