Lion that mauled man in enclosure in South Africa is killed

JOHANNESBURG — A lion has been killed after attacking the owner of a wildlife center in South Africa, a mauling recorded in a graphic video .

A staff member at Marakele Predator Centre in Limpopo province shot dead the male lion named Shamba after it mauled Michael Hodge, the proprietor of the facility, the News24 media outlet reported Wednesday.

The video posted on the News24 website on Tuesday shows Hodge walking in an enclosure behind the lion and then running for an exit when the lion turns and chases him. The lion quickly drags Hodge toward some bushes.

Hodge suffered neck and jaw injuries and is being treated at a Johannesburg hospital.

Police are investigating the incident near Thabazimbi town.

Hodge and his wife moved from Britain to South Africa in 1999, according to the website of the Marakele Predator Centre. It offers rides in a "lion mobile" and shows photos of lions clambering over a vehicle with passengers safely inside a cage on the back.

"I can promise you that SHAMBA will jump up and look you in the eyes, he also sits on the top of the truck whilst we take the drive through the camp, a super photo opportunity to be had by all!" the website says.

The manager of Marakele National Park, which is about two kilometers (1.2 miles) from Hodge's privately run predator facility, has been inundated with calls from visitors who mistakenly think the attack happened at the state-run reserve, according to South Africa's national parks service.

The park does not have "animals in enclosures for tourist attraction" and is open to visitors, said the manager, Mphadeni Nthangeni.

In February, a young woman in South Africa was mauled to death by a lion that was under the care of a man known as the "lion whisperer" for his close interactions with the predators. Kevin Richardson, who keeps lions at his animal sanctuary in the Dinokeng Game Reserve, said he and a colleague took three lions for a walk and that one chased an impala, eventually encountering the 22-year-old woman at least two kilometers (1.2 miles) away.

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Follow Christopher Torchia on Twitter at www.twitter.com/torchiachris

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