Three lions proved who’s at the top of the food chain when they pulled an inebriated worker who was taunting them into their enclosure and devoured him before his horrified friend, authorities said.
Jan Bredenhand, who had been working as the restaurant manager for the Addo Croc and Lion Ranch near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for just one month, returned from an all-night party Sunday morning and hopped on a gate around the lions enclosure when he was attacked.
A witness told police that the 30-year-old and one of his friends provoked the lions with loud taunts, South Africa’s Daily Dispatch reported.
“He climbed the fence around their enclosure and clearly got too close,” police spokeswoman Gerda Swart told London’s The Sun newspaper. “Since he was drunk he may not have been in sound mind, but it was an incredibly dangerous and stupid thing to do.
“People who play dangerous games with animals like lions are asking for trouble – and he got it.”
It was the second mauling death of a worker by lions at the park in six years.
The friend, identified only as “Simon,” ran for help and brought back several tourists who were staying in a nearby chalet, but it was too late.
“It was horrific,” one of the tourists, Veluchia Hassim told South Africa’s News 24 TV. “The one lion was gnawing on his ribs when we got there.”