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Terrified friends trapped in lion enclosure for 50 MINUTES while their car was surround by pride at safari park

Mirror logo Mirror 22/02/2018 Kelly-Ann Mills

a dog walking on a street: Credits: © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Terrified visitors were trapped in a lion enclosure for 50 minutes while a pride surrounded their car at a safari park - leaving a PAW-shaped dent.

Abi Tudge, 23, and a friend where still inside when the rangers closed the gates for safety on Wednesday afternoon.

Heart-stopping footage shows the lightning-fast beasts bounding on to the bonnet and roof of the Hyundai i-30 leaving behind a huge paw print-shaped dent at West Midlands Safari Park in Bewdley.

a cow that is swimming in the water: Credits: © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: The pair, who had two children in the back seat, became trapped in the section as wardens tried to deal with the "agitated" and "aggravated" animals.

But they were left stunned when the pack suddenly bolted for a female and leapt on top of the car, leaving behind dents and scratches.

Abi, of Hereford, said they were left feeling shaken and feared the car's windows could have been smashed by the animals, which can weigh up to 30 stone (190kg).

She added: "We were so shaken up and trying to make sure the children were OK.

"The rangers were in their vehicle, but nowhere near the lions."

Credits: © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Abi's friend, a carer, who did not want to be named, filmed the footage, and said: "It was the last thing you'd expect to happen on a causal day out.

"We could see as we got into the enclosure that the lions were making a lot of noise, and that a few of them were wrestling with one another," she said.

"They were dashing around after one another - I think there was a female that they were trying to chase.

"The employees weren't able to open the gates to let us out because of the disturbance.

"Then, out of nowhere, a load of them darted towards my car and started jumping all over it.

"It was a real shock, but I knew that I couldn't scream because it would upset the children.

"I think they were just running from one place to the other, and my car happened to be an obstacle in their way, so they hurtled over it.

a group of people sitting at a cow: Credits: © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: "One of them went up on the bonnet, and another one managed to jump on the roof. They really got up close and personal.

"Eventually the gates opened so that we could get out, and we just carried on our day as normal.

"The children were talking about it as we drove them back home, they found it absolutely hilarious and were really happy that they got to experience that.

"I think that the staff were amazing, I have to commend them for what they did. Their presence made us feel safe as it happened.

"The only negative is the paw print dent on my car, but it looks really funny and will hopefully be easy to fix.

a car parked on the side of a road: Credits: © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: "I'm due to take the car in for a service later this week, so they're going to think I'm bonkers when I try to explain that to them."

A West Midlands Safari Park spokeswoman said: "Yesterday afternoon, the exit gate of our drive-through lion enclosure was kept closed temporarily due to the lions being in close proximity to the gate.

"This was a precautionary measure to prevent the lions going between gates, causing guests already in the enclosure to wait in their vehicles for a short period of time.

"The male lions have been in the process of being mixed with the females for a few months now.

"This has been going well and there was no reason to believe that there would be any issues yesterday as a result of mixing.

a close up of a dog: Credits: © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: "As with all wild animals, normally harmonious groups can on occasion become particularly active.

"This is constantly monitored closely by trained staff who are always in the enclosure when guests are too and will intervene if necessary.

"There was an experienced member of staff within the enclosure and at no time were guests in any danger.

"The safety and wellbeing of our guests is paramount and our Guest Relations Teams are dealing with this enquiry."


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