A HORRIFIED father has told of a fearful five minutes he waited for help as a lion attacked his vehicle at West Midland Safari Park.
Dolphus Boswell said he watched in horror as the big cat gnawed at his back tyre during a trip to the popular Bewdley attraction to celebrate his son Zacchaeus’s ninth birthday.
He told The Shuttle that despite desperately beeping his horn for help no-one came to his rescue for about five minutes.
Mr Boswell, of Stourport, has now hit out at the park, claiming it left him and his son in danger as they were stuck in a queue of traffic with no means of escape.
“Why was I allowed to be alone for five minutes with the lion on my tyre?” he said. “What if he had smashed my side window? I would have been dead and my son would have been dead.”
He said the lion left about six punctures in his tyre during the incident, on Friday, August 30, adding he managed to remain calm for the sake of his son.
“I saw this lion coming towards my lorry about 100 ft away and I thought ‘what’s going on here?’,”
he explained. “It was walking slowly and when it came to the back tyre it started ripping it so I started sounding my horn.
“I couldn’t move my vehicle because there were cars in front and behind. I didn’t know what to do. A man came in a Land Rover and moved the lion away. I asked why he had taken five minutes and he said he had only got the phone call.”
“I’m annoyed. It was scary and it ruined my son’s birthday. It shouldn’t happen.”
The park paid for the repairs to his tyre and offered him wristbands, which he refused, as he had to return his son home.
He said he had yet to receive an explanation from the safari park about what went wrong.
A spokeswoman said they could not comment on the issue.