Eish! Wales International rugby star Scott Baldwin was forced to miss his match after being bitten by a lion in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Watch video below.) Scott was quick to add – on social media – that it was his fault and not the lion’s!
The Ospreys team were visiting Weltevreden Game Lodge in Bloemfontein when Scott (29) put his hand into the lion’s cage to pet it on the head as if it were a kitten.
Many of his fellow team members shared photos online of themselves holding lion cubs on Wednesday (which is an activity that many local and international tourists love… but which conservationists say should not be engaged in. As shown in Blood Lions, it can feed the ‘lion canning industry’ – whereby cubs that are petted, grow up to become fodder for hunters as they’re too tame to be sent back to the wild.)
— CIA Foundation (@cia_foundation) September 30, 2017
Osprey’s boss Steve Tandy told reporters: “There was an incident with a lion, it’s nothing to do with the lion in all fairness to it but he did bite Scott.
“When you put your hand into a fence and there’s a lion in there, you can expect to get bit.
“He had plenty of warning, so it’s pretty stupid on Scott’s behalf. He’s pretty lucky.
“It’s nothing to do with where we were, it was a good environment, we’d been told how far back to stand.
“I don’t know what sort of wildlife programme Scott has been watching, (that says you can) pat a lion as if it’s a kitten.”
Scott said: “Sorry all Ospreys fans for letting you and the team down by missing the game through the bite! On the mend thankfully & should be up & running round soon enough thanks for your support & concern.”
He got off almost ‘Scot’-free with just a couple of stitches… but after he was taken down by a lion, his team were taken down by the Cheetahs, losing 44-25.
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) September 29, 2017