May 26, 2023 | 3:59 pm
At the campsite, the quiet campsite, the lion crawls tonight.
Campers in Botswana got a closer encounter with wildlife than intended after a huge male lion strolled through their campsite and crawled within the feet of petrified safari goers.
“Lions enter the camps unannounced and in total silence as it happened to us,” said an unidentified videographer of the “once in a lifetime” sighting, which was filmed May 8 at a wildlife sanctuary in Kgalagadi, Storyful reported.
The heartbreaking POV footage begins with the predator prowling around the perimeter of the campsite like a scene from the 2022 Idris Ilba horror film ‘Beast’.
After seemingly wandering into the undergrowth, the big cat turns and wanders towards the family, who whisper to each other not to move.
The proud patriarch then walks over to their dining table and inspects the silverware.
At one point in the mane-raising confrontation, the cat accidentally knocks a bottle off the table and sends it noisily clattering to the floor, seemingly shattering his perception as a stealthy hunter.
The clip ends with the lion approaching to within a few feet of the statue-still safari goers before flashing them a chilling look – then disappearing into the wild.
It may have seemed prudent to try and flee the scene before the big cat — which can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh as much as 550 pounds — came within tearing distance.
However, one of the campers told Storyful that before the trip they agreed that if they had such an encounter, they “wouldn’t go running, because it would encourage most of the wildlife to hunt.”
“If someone panics and runs away or makes sudden movements, chances are they will be attacked,” said the witness.
And while she was privileged to see such a regal animal up close, she acknowledged that there was “no room for error.”