Tourists at a safari park in Crimea got an adorable, if scary, surprise when a young lion jumped into a bus with them.
A loose lion called Filya can be seen climbing into a vehicle at Taigan Park.
But this story has a happy ending – because he didn’t attack the men and women. Instead, he ambled into the open vehicle and starting licking several tourists, while rubbing his face at others in a sign of affection.
The footage comes months after a woman was mauled by a lion at the same park.
Tourists proceeded to play with Filya, pet him and take videos and selfies of the rare event. It’s not every day someone can get up close and personal with a lion.
Fifty year old Oleg Zubkov, who has been dubbed the ‘lion whisperer’ by locals, supervised the encounter, the Mail Online reports.
He appeared comfortable and greeted the lion by petting him, and when he got a little overzealous, pushed him gently out of the car.
Olga Solomina had been attacked by a different lion, Vitya, and sustained injuries on her arm eight weeks ago. Zubkov alleges that Olga drank alcohol before going into the big cat enclosure. He said:
It was my mistake not to realise that she has had cognac before entering- possibly because she was scared.
She came inside and started ruffling the lions' mane. Vitya the lion came close to her and pulled her away by her arm.
She wasn't pulled forcefully into the park. She knew this was a dangerous site.
"She was given health and safety instructions and entered voluntarily. I'm glad to say days after the incident Olga was feeling well."
Despite the incident, he maintains that people are safe if they follow his instructions.
Rare white lions were born at the park last year.