Watch: Tyre-biting lion strikes again

Posted by Nidha Narrandes on 11 September 2018

Last week, management at the Kruger National Park (KNP) warned tourists of a pride of lions, north of Satara, who were biting vehicle tyres. They encouraged all ‘visitors who come across lions displaying such behaviour’ to make sure their windows remain closed. Since the appeal for tourists to share footage or visuals of lions acting strangely, a video has surfaced showing a lion trying to eat a vehicle’s side mirror.

Hannetjie van der Westhuizen got a little more than she bargained for from her Big Five encounter when a lion tried to chomp parts of her vehicle.

She was driving slowly along the S100, a popular route in Kruger known for frequent lion sightings, when a lion strolled up to her car and casually begun chewing on the mirror.

Speaking to about her experience on August 14, she said the lion was behaving curiously.

“There was a sighting of a pride of 5 lions, but this pride in Kruger is famous for ‘interacting’ with the cars. There was a young male who was especially curious. We were very excited and scared at first, but then we realised that lion was more curious and playful and was merely investigating a strange object.”

She managed to capture the lion on video, first attempting to chew the mirror and then trying to paw his way through the glass window. After casually testing his teeth against the glass, he moved on to the tyre.

“He was seriously chewing on the tyres, and I thought those sharp teeth may damage them, so we decided to move on,” said Hannetjie.

She says she has been visiting the park for 48 years and had to use binoculars and a lot of imagination to spot a lion in the past – she’s never ever had an encounter like this.

KNP has since requested that visitors don’t get too close to any animals for footage at a sighting and refrain from placing any items on the vehicle exterior or tyres which might attract and encourage animals to approach the vehicle.

Visitors are urged report incidents to the Emergency Call Centres on 013 735 4064 / 013 735 0197 or 076 801 9679.


Watch the video: