A controversial video of a fully-grown lion climbing aboard a safari bus and acting like a house cat is taking the internet by storm.
There are a number of reasons for the existence of safari parks whether you agree with them or not. Many are in place so that we can help preserve and protect certain species, to stop them from going extinct. An added benefit to many is that we also get to see those animals in what is still effectively their natural habitat.
In some cases it gives visitors a chance to get up close to some of the animals, however, most of us would draw a line when it comes to which animals we want that to happen with. The majority of those of us who visit safari parks would likely be more than happy gazing at lions from a distance. However, a certain park in Crimea doesn't seem to agree.
A video taken at the Taigan Safari Park in Vilnohirsk (which you can watch here) shows a fully-grown lion not only getting extremely close to some visiting tourists but actually climbing onto their bus and clambering over them. The lion, whose name is Filya, begins by playfully forcing the driver out of his seat before then turning to the tourists in the back and climbing over them as if it were a regular-sized house cat.
Apparently, it isn't out of the norm for this to happen at Taigan Safari Park. The man driving the bus is named Oleg Zubkov, and his nickname is the "Lion Whisperer". Presumably, Zubkov's presence is the reason Filya is in such a playful mood rather than choosing to try and hurt the bus full of tourists. Shockingly, most of them seem to be perfectly okay with it and stroke Filya while trying to take photos and videos.
Perhaps the scariest news of all to come out of the video is that apparently, a woman was attacked by a lion at Taigan Safari Park just a few short weeks ago when faced with this same situation. On that occasion, another lion named Vitya bit through a woman's arm and dragged her "like a puppet" according to the Daily Mail. Lions are beautiful animals, but we think we'd prefer to admire that beauty from a safe distance.