Why do safari goers get to ride in a comfortable, shady cart while lions, the real stars of any foray into the African savannah, have to lay under the hot sun?
That's the question this lion must have been asking himself before he caused a group of tourists to see their lives pass before their eyes.
The video was captured at Taigan Safari Park in Vilnohirsk, Crimea, owned by Oleg Zubkov, who is known to many as the "lion whisperer." According to The Daily Mail, "Zubkov is well-known for taming big cats and letting tourists get close to the wild animals."
@CBSNews I'm going to guess this big cat was born in captivity based on calm and friendly it is. I will admit I wou… https://t.co/xSS39R0Q6a— Ryan Patino (@Ryan Patino)1536167277.0
In the video, the lion (whose name happens to be Filya) climbs into an open-air cart and is seen cuddling and licking several passengers, some of whom laugh and take selfies while others flee.
@AdamThompson48 @CBSNews https://t.co/VJmAKACAL2— 48 and Dating Don’t Mix (@48 and Dating Don’t Mix)1536172398.0
Twitter was equal parts delighted and terrified:
@CBSNews @Biyiish Never!!! I will be out of there like yesterday https://t.co/pJORXLIXCo— Tam Brisibe (@Tam Brisibe)1536185023.0
@SkyNews This lion maybe https://t.co/T1v7GQ3KAz— stevie 🇬🇧 (@stevie 🇬🇧)1536143257.0
i feel like this lion and i would be total bros. https://t.co/4gaj5uGpZ6— Casey Neistat (@Casey Neistat)1536198924.0
I don't understand all the laughing. THIS IS A LION. A REAL LION. But hey, that's just me. *shrugs* https://t.co/LzEVaq1Z4C— Drew Walker ~ US*99 (@Drew Walker ~ US*99)1536172387.0
@SkyNews Just like when the dog jumps on the sofa one min your watching tv next your on the floor looks fun but bit iffy— Wayne Titterton 🇬🇧🇺🇸🏴🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@Wayne Titterton 🇬🇧🇺🇸🏴🇺🇸🇬🇧)1536146050.0
@SkyNews My love of animals says yes, give me a cuddle but my head says, I'm food, it wants to eat me and I wouldn't stand a chance.— Steve (@Steve)1536160525.0
Though Filya is undeniably adorable in this clip, the event captured on video took place just eight weeks after another woman, Olga Solomina, was mauled by a different lion, named Vitya, at the same park.
Solomina's story does raise some questions about safety at Taigan Safari Park:
[The lion] bit through my right arm and used it to drag me - it like a puppet.
Woman mauled by lion after entering enclosure to take photograph with animal. Olga Solomina says she had 'said good… https://t.co/EMJFG1dSPu— Marvin Heiferman (@Marvin Heiferman)1532360518.0
Maybe the more cautious crowd has a point.
@SkyNews Although he looks as affectionate as my cat NO chance would I chance that 😹— gladiatorjac's🍷💛🌹🇬🇧 (@gladiatorjac's🍷💛🌹🇬🇧)1536164067.0
Most of us will never be confronted with an up-close-and-personal lion-based choice like these passengers were, and that's probably for the best. A wrong choice next to a lion might be the last choice you ever make.