TORONTO – A Pakistani photographer barely escaped with his life after capturing a stunning image of an attacking lion.
Atif Saeed, 38, captured the breathtaking image at a safari park just outside of Lahore in 2012 — but it has only recently gone viral.
Speaking with ABC News, Saeed said he was granted permission to go inside the lion’s habitat to shoot a couple of images. The photographer drove his vehicle into a clearing then sat on the ground to capture the lion with his camera.
“The feel of the aggressive, approaching lion from the camera is something that can’t be described,” Saeed told ABC News. “I was witnessing every small detail of movement that no photograph or movie can show.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Saeed said the sound of the camera’s shutter alerted the lion, and he quickly became the animal’s prey.
“I was sitting in front of him just near my car and the door of my car was open,” Saeed told the British tabloid. “I sat on the ground a few feet away, so he was treating me like his prey.”
The lion reportedly made an “offensive move” in an attempt to attack the photographer but Saeed managed to jump back in his car and escape what could have been certain death.
“It was a pretty close encounter,” he recalled. “I was laughing afterwards at the time, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to do something like that again.”