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Mike Hodge's decision to get up, close and personal with a lion, dubbed as the king of jungle turned into a nightmarish experience.

In the footage, the lion sees Mike after he enters its enclosure and chases him towards the gate.

Pictures shows Mr Hodge smiling in his hospital bed despite his injuries, with a friend telling The Sun that he is recovering from the dramatic ordeal.

A police spokesperson told the Associated Press that the man suffered jaw and neck injuries and is intensive care.

The British owner of a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa has been severely mauled by a lion that he hand-reared from a cub in an attack that was witnessed and filmed by his tourist clients.

Screams then erupt from onlookers as Mike is dragged across the grass, unable to move.

The injured man is believed to have set up the "predator park" in 2003 after emigrating to Thabazimbi from the United Kingdom in the late 1990s.

Marakele remains closed in the wake of the attack while Chrissy was believed to be too upset to comment. When the lion was finished with him, Hodge lay motionless on the ground.

One of 33 lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Columbia is released at its final destination: an animal sanctuary in South Africa's Limpopo province.

"Somebody help, please! Oh, my God!" witnesses shouted in the background.

"He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong", the friend added.

Another man is heard shouting in an American accent, "Somebody get a rifle, just in case", while a terrified and sobbing woman, apparently also an American, screams: "Help my dad!"

Incidents of big cats attacking humans are increasing at an alarming rate, and the fault is not at all that of these majestic wild animals.

The animal has reportedly been killed following the attack.