THIS is the terrifying moment a lion savages a zoo worker’s hand after he tried to pet it through the bars.
The guide, named locally as Abdoulaye Wade, was attacked after he foolishly stuck his arm through the beast’s cage to impress visitors.
Horrific footage shows the huge lion clamp its jaws around the man’s outstretched hand as he flails helplessly.
He desperately attempts to bash the lion over the head as witnesses yell and throw stones at the zoo in Dakar, Senegal.
The beast’s head twists violently as he bites the terrified worker’s arm which is almost ripped from its socket.
The lion eventually relents after an almighty thump from the worker who can be heard bizarrely laughing – presumably in shock – as he woozily stumbles away from the cage towards the safety barrier, arm dripping with blood.
Footage from before the attack appears to show him antagonizing the lion, swiping his fingers through the bars as the giant cat leaps up to swat at them.
Footage of the aftermath – reportedly filmed back in February – shows bloodied rocks around the enclosure, and appears to show the irresponsible worker getting a telling-off.
Comments beneath a Youtube video of the inicdent, shared by Buzz Senegal, are less than sympathetic.
One user wrote: “You don’t play with a sleeping lion”.
Another added: “Thank you lion,” while one cheeky user wrote: “He wanted a show… he got it”.
The incident has chilling echoes of viral lockdown sensation Tiger King, which aired footage of one employee, Saff, getting his arm bitten OFF by a lion.
The employee poked his arm through the cage one feeding time, and the big cat immediately latched on.
As Saff yanked his arm back through the bars, the skin caught on the bars resulting in a horrific accident.
The ex-armed forces member was offered the choice between a full amputation or years of grueling reconstructive surgery, and opted for the chop.