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Mr Hodge and wife Chrissy opened the sanctuary in 2003. (Twitter) Mike Hodge is seen running from the lion as it approaches him from behind.

A lion was captured on video attacking a wildlife park owner on the grounds of his facility.

Pictures shows Mr Hodge smiling in his hospital bed despite his injuries, with a friend telling The Sun that he is recovering from the dramatic ordeal. The lion then drags him into nearby bushes where he then lies motionless.

A safari park owner in South Africa has been mauled by one of his lions, with keepers forced to kill the animal after its 90-second attack.

Mr Hodge, who emigrated from the United Kingdom with his wife Chrissy in 2003, is now in hospital receiving treatment for neck and jaw injuries.

At the time, Hodge who owned the wildlife park along with a park ranger had become concerned about fissure emanating from the enclosure.

The park is believed to be nine kilometers from Thabazimbi.

One of 33 lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Columbia is released at its final destination: an animal sanctuary in South Africa's Limpopo province.

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Debbie Wagner said: "So sad that the lion is only doing what comes naturally to him".

"Somebody help, please!" someone screams in the video.

The big cat is thought to have since been put down.

A friend who did not want to be named told the Sun Online: "He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong".

The lion briefly drops the man as it drags him towards the bushes.

Adding of the moment the lion pounced on Hodge, 'It had put the lion on edge but when Mike went in the lion turned and came for him and he ran but couldn't get through the gate quick enough and it had him'.

Whatever be the noble thought of the man, he found himself under attack from the predator who had nearly gone for the kill.