Video: Reckless Tourist Tries to Pat Wild Lion While On Safari

A lion takes a nap in the Serengeti National Park, northern Tanzania. JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images

A video has emerged on YouTube in which a reckless tourist on safari can be seen trying to touch a lion from the window of a car.

The clip, which was shot in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, has already garnered more than a million views at the time of writing after being posted on June 15.

In the footage, the arm of an individual can be seen reaching out of the window to pat the wild lion on the back. At first the animal does not appear to react. However, moments later it bares its teeth menacingly and roars, frightening the occupants of the car who promptly close the window.

The poster of the video, Wildlife Sightings—an account with more than 100,000 subscribers—wrote in the video description that lions in the open plains of the Serengeti occasionally shelter in the shade of vehicles. But "this doesn't mean that they trust humans, only the vehicles."

"To try to touch is incredibly stupid and ignorant of the tourist that filmed the sighting."

South African safari ranger Naas Smit told The Sun that the lion could have torn off the arm of the person trying to touch it.

"It would have the power to pull that tourist straight out of that window and kill him instantly in front of his friends. It was an incredibly stupid thing to do," he said.

"It could also just have easily crashed its way through the open window and torn into those inside," Smit added. "They were lucky to get away with it. They are wild animals."

Furthermore, if the animal had killed or injured the tourist, park rangers would probably have had to put it down.

The incident is just the latest video to emerge online showing unnerving close encounters with big cats in the African wilds. In March, an American tourist captured footage of a cheetah silently climbing into his car while he sat frozen in the seat. After poking around for a few minutes, the cheetah left the man unharmed.