The Bannerghatta Biological Park in India features a lion safari in which 20 lions roam a 12-acre forest enclosure and safari buses and cars drive through offering tourists close-up views.
But for those in a Toyota Innova, a luxury SUV for tourists who pay higher fares for the comfort, the views were a little too close for comfort.
Video has emerged from Bengaluru showing two lions surrounding the safari car, and one lion then attacking:
"The attack took place on January 28 or 29," Santosh Kumar, the Bannerghatta Biological Park executive director, told the Times of India. "The driver is clearly at fault. He should never have stopped the car, which he probably did to please the visitors. We've removed him from safari duty."
A similar incident involving the same safari car occurred in September and then again with a different car in December.
The News Minute of India reported that its own reporter shot video of two lions leaping at or following the same Innova in the September incident. Kumar said then that he got a complaint about the driver a week before and when he inquired about it he was told it excites tourists, and some request the car.
"It was laxity on behalf of the driver," Kumar told TNM. "He had overlooked safety rules and there had been complaints against him. Despite warnings, he had not adhered to safety measures. There are strict instructions not to stop the vehicle inside the Lion Safari. No closer look of big cats is allowed."
Kumar told the Deccan Chronicle that he is now convinced smaller vehicles are not safe for visitors and is planning to withdrawn them from use.