told the Sun.

Onlookers scream as he is dragged back by the beast.

The British owner of a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa has been severely mauled by a lion that he hand-reared from a cub in an attack that was witnessed and filmed by his tourist clients.

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.

A few years later they relocated to the town in the Limpopo province and founded the Marakele Predator Park.

The injured man is believed to have set up the "predator park" in 2003 after emigrating to Thabazimbi from the United Kingdom in the late 1990s.

"He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong", the friend added.

In the background a man can be heard shouting 'get a rifle'.

The lion then releases Hodge from his grip and runs away.

The elderly man reportedly remains in a critical condition.

The man appeared to make it to the gate of the lion's enclosure when the animal pounced.

Told the commentator, 'So sad that the lion is only doing what comes naturally to him.

The big cat's victim calls out for help in front of screaming bystanders before a number of gunshots can be heard to ring out.

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