This is the moment a lioness bit off more than she could chew – after attacking a terrified tourist’s WING MIRROR.
Insurance worker Shirley Painter was enjoying a trip to Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire when the predator took a liking to her Vauxhall Astra.
The powerful female wrapped its enormous jaws around the wing mirror and started attacking it.
Shirley, 26, from Bradley Stoke, Bristol, was sitting just inches away in the passenger seat and watched with a mixture of terror and excitement.
She said: “We were driving through the lions’ enclosure and I saw a lion coming alongside the near side of the car and was watching it in the mirror.
“The next thing I know it is right next to me and then it starts to try and eat the mirror.
“I can honestly say I was excited at the experience but terrified as the lion was enormous and they were all roaring because the safari jeeps which were coming through for feeding time.
“I asked my husband what we should do and whether we should beep the horn for help but my husband simply slowly drove forward and the lions mouth came away from the mirror and then went off and joined the rest of the lions.”
Despite having sharp teeth and a jaw which could crush a man’s skull, the lioness didn’t cause any serious damage to the car.
The incident, which took place last Saturday during a family trip to Longleat, came only a short time after the Painters had their wing mirror replaced following a minor accident.
And Shirley admitted the scariest part of the experience was when her husband Richard pretended to wind down the car window.
She added: “He thought it would be funny, I did shout at him for that!”
There are two lion prides at Longleat with the big cats growing up to three-metres long and weighing 200kg.