New Delhi: The undisputed King of the Jungle – the Lion – has always been known for its stalking style. The majestic walk, the secretive crouching moves, measured footsteps and the hawk-like eye it keeps on its prey, once spotted.
They are also known as one of the most unpredictable predators. You just never know when they might make their fatal move.
An encounter captured on video at a zoo in Chiba, Japan, went viral over the weekend, showing a 180 kg lion and a two-year-old kid.
At first, it looked like a normal footage of a child looking through the glass barrier that separated the animal from zoo visitors.
It was only when the child turned its back toward the lion, who had conveniently settled itself into a crouching position as if stalking its prey, when the unexpected happened.
The moment the toddler diverted his attention, the lion saw its opportunity and sprung at the boy as if to attack him, but collided with the glass panel instead.
The audible crash stunned the little boy, who lost his balance from the ledge he was standing on and turned only to find the lion pawing at the glass window in desperation.
The child, who was absolutely clueless about the occurrence, was visibly confused at the big feline's reaction.
Ever since the video went viral, the entire cyberspace seems to be divided in their opinion on whether the lion was trying to attack the boy or play with him.
As per reports in the Metro, zookeepers at the Chiba Zoological Park have come out to say that the lion meant no harm and only wanted to play with the toddler.
According to Mashable.com, however, Adam Roberts, the chief executive of Born Free USA, a non-profit national animal advocacy group, disagreed, telling The Dodo that it was a blessing that the glass divider held up against the lion's attack.
"Lions are natural wild predators and the child in this video, especially when turning his back to the massive feline, becomes prey in the animal's eyes," said Roberts. "The firm glass wall held the lion inside his enclosure, surely frustrating his innate instincts. But luckily for the family, if the barrier had not held the consequences could have been catastrophic."
It appears that turning your back on the big cats could be your worst decision.
Check out the video below!
(Video courtesy: Tu Bui Anh)
This story has come to the fore just days after the Cincinnati Zoo controversy, wherein, a 17-year-old rare silverback Gorilla by the name of Harambe, was shot dead after a boy fell into its enclosure.