Boxer Robbie Gaine, 29, from Britain, never knew he would get the fright of his life when he decided to go to see lions, tigers, leopards and elephants at a zoo in Thailand during a holiday.
The zoo allows visitors to enter the cage of animals with assistance from a zoo keeper. Gaine was posting for a picture when the giant cat attacked him. He touched the cat and ended up running for cover when it turned on him.
The lion, which was tied with a 2-foot chain, tried to lunge at him but was held back by the restraint. The animal became even more agitated when it realized Gaine was forced to take refuge in the animal’s sleeping quarters.
The tense moments were captured on camera by Gaine’s friend while the zookeeper tried to escort the boxer out of the area.
“To be honest, I sent my mate in as a guinea pig before I went in and he came out all right. I then went into the lion’s cage and my mate said even the zookeeper was panicking,” he said.
Horrified after the incident, the boxer said, “I will fight with any man on the planet — except my dad and (boxer) Tom Doran, who’s a mate of mine — but I wouldn’t fight that lion. I will never go again — they should be outside in the wild.”
Gaine, who also does charity work for the Amelia Mae Foundation, admits his experience has made him realize lions should be in the wild where they can roam free.
This is not the first time when animals were abused to be the perfect fodder for social media. Numerous incidents have emerged where these photogenic animals have been exploited.
Recently, a Chinese Circus had tied a tiger to a metal table so visitors could sit on it to click pictures.
The disturbing video of animal abuse shows Chinese circus trainers who are seen treating a Siberian tiger heartlessly to entertain visitors. The trainers tied the poor animal aggressively on to a metal table with ropes, encouraging visitors to sit on its back.
Not long ago, Rihanna’s picture of herself posing with an endangered animal caused uproar. The singer had posted a picture with an endangered animal in Thailand. The picture alerted Phuket authorities and two people were arrested on charges of possession of protected animals.
Across Thailand, thousands of animals, domesticated and wild, are kept as pets or used in commercial entertainment and tourism. Growing incidents are being reported where tourists have been mauled by tigers. These incidents show that these animals are under stress.
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