A mother her young children faced an agonizing choice on a recent visit to a safari park in England, when their car burst into flames in the middle of a lion habitat.
Helen Clements and her two young kids, visiting the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, England, Friday, had to make a split-second decision whether to take the chance that the flames didn’t reach them before help arrived, or trust themselves to the mercy of the lions outside.
“You’re stuck and you can’t control and you can’t do anything about it,” Clements said.
Other tourists in the safari park couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Clements said she tried to get out and her son tried to run off, but the park rangers stopped them.
“They were shouting at us get back in the car, do not get out the car and it’s a situation — what do you do?” Clements said.
Fortunately for her and her children, the rangers rushed in and got her out just in the nick of time.
“Literally as he opened the door we just jumped into his vehicle,” she said.
“(There’s) always a ranger with their eye on the animals and a ranger there to assist the family,” Longleat Safari Park marketing director Alex Lloyd said. “That training kicked into action and all worked well, so the first ranger stayed close by the lions whilst the second ranger was able to relatively freely get the family out of the vehicle.”
Everyone was scared but they were all safe, Clements said.
“Why couldn’t it be in the flamingos or the camels?” she said. “But no, it had to be in the lion enclosure.”