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Moment a playful lion grabs safari truck’s tow rope in its jaws and doesn’t want to let go [video]


Tug of roar! Moment a playful lion grabs safari truck’s tow rope in its jaws and doesn’t want to let go

  • Footage shows playful lion doing tug of war with tour guide in South Africa 
  • Tour guide Jabulani Salinda, 49, filmed the footage at Baobab Ridge Game Lodge
  • The lion grabbed the tow rope after the truck got stuck on November 18 










This is the crazy moment a tour guide played tug of war with a playful lion.

Tour guide Jabulani Salinda, 49, was leading a group through Baobab Ridge Game Lodge, South Africa, on November 18.

He was tipped off by a colleague that there were lions nearby so he moved his truck around.

But he got the jeep stuck in the ground and had to be towed free using the rope.

In a video that has been viewed more than 13,000 times online, the male lion grabs onto the tow rope before Mr Salinda can pull it back in.

It tugs persistently at the end while guests on the truck laugh in the background. 

At one stage the stubborn lion even tries wrapping the rope around a tree to win the battle. 

As the truck begins to move, the lion staggers slightly as it refuses to let go even though it is being pulled forward. 

Mr Salinda, from Dumfries, South Africa, said: ‘It was funny for me because I didn’t think of it just as a lion playing with a rope, it was like a big cat playing with a toy. 

Tour guide Jabulani Salinda, 49, was leading a group through Baobab Ridge Game Lodge, South Africa, on November 18. A lion grabbed onto a tow rope Mr Salinda had been using and refused to let go

‘All of its characteristics at the time were like a house cat any family would love to have in the home. It was just interested in toying with the rope. 

‘I’ve been a tour guide for 19 years and I have never known a lion play like this before.

‘My guests were a bit concerned that the lion’s interest in the rope would bring him up closer to the jeep, but he wasn’t approaching with anger.

Mr Salinda said: ‘I don’t think it had ever happened to the lion before and his attention was fully on the rope and I calmed them down and we were all able to enjoy the moment. 

‘He was surprised by the rope but he just saw the opportunity to play with something new.’

As the truck begins to move, the lion keeps the rope in his mouth and appears to stagger slightly as he is pulled by it

As the truck begins to move, the lion keeps the rope in his mouth and appears to stagger slightly as he is pulled by it

Mr Salinda said he thought the lion 'was surprised by the rope but he just saw the opportunity to play with something new

Mr Salinda said he thought the lion ‘was surprised by the rope but he just saw the opportunity to play with something new

He explained that he and his guests had been patiently tracking lions for a couple of hours before another guide tipped him off that a male was near him.

Jabulani said: ‘When we arrived there was only one spot to see this lion but I spotted two more on the other side of the road.

‘I moved my jeep around so as not to disturb my colleague but I managed to get the jeep stuck in the ground.

‘I called another guide nearby to ask if he could give me a tow but the first attempt didn’t work because I was too low. 

‘The lion didn’t appear to be interested in the rope initially.

Mr Salinda (pictured) said he found the encounter funny as he saw it as a big cat playing with a toy

Mr Salinda (pictured) said he found the encounter funny as he saw it as a big cat playing with a toy

At one stage the stubborn lion even tries wrapping the rope around a tree to win the battle

At one stage the stubborn lion even tries wrapping the rope around a tree to win the battle 

‘While we moved the rope around to the front of the vehicle instead I tried to move my jeep to a 45 degree angle and see if that helped, which meant I got myself out quickly.

‘Before I could pull the rope back in, it caught the eye of the lion. He wandered over and grabbed the end of it. 

‘He tried to pull the jeep back but couldn’t manage it. He then tried to wrap it around some trees to get stronger tension.’ 

The tour guide said the lion eventually gave in when a group of females sauntered past and he decided to go hunting with them instead of playing. 

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