This unsuspecting safari ranger got the fright of his life after coming face-to-face with a LION as he relaxed in the afternoon sun.
Unarmed Eric Ubisi froze as the big cat strolled right past him as he sat in a seat mounted to his safari jeep, parked up in the Manyeleti Game Reserve in Tintswalo, South Africa.
He can be seen tensely clutching his chair as he locks eyes with the wild beast, which stops and glances up at his terrified face.
Eric was with fellow rangers David Jacobs and Anton van Loggerenberg during the hair-raising moment on Monday, who managed to capture the moment perfectly, confident he wouldn’t come to any harm.
David said: “We were out on a game drive with our guest when we spotted three young male lion on Buffalo planes.
“We positioned our vehicle in a way that offered our guest optimal viewing, when the lions all stood up and approached the vehicle.
“One lay down behind the vehicle and the other one moved towards the front and briefly stopped and looked at Eric, so I was unable to back away.”
The game-rich Manyeleti Game Reserve offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world.
But Eric’s encounter with one of the park’s Mbiri lions looks a little too close for comfort – although he later claimed he knew he was in no real danger.
He said: “I enjoyed it and knew he the lion was going to walk past without harming me.
“I knew the lion was relaxed and I have been watching him every day since he was a cub and know his behaviour.
“They are our resident pride.”
The Tintswalo Safari Lodge said it adheres to the strictest safety measures and precautions, and the highly experienced staff knew that in this position, the best thing to do was to stay still.
David added: “I asked Eric if he was comfortable and he said he was fine.
“I observed no aggressive behaviour from the lions.
“It was a very brief encounter and after a few minutes, the lion walked off and lay down about ten meters away.”