A family were forced to abandon their car in the lion enclosure at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire yesterday. The mum and two children managed to get out of their car and get to a ranger jeep before flames engulfed the front of their car. Keepers reacted quickly and used their vehicles to herd the lions into a separate enclosure as the family were rescued. The dramatic scene on Good Friday was watched by Natalie Wiltshire, who was visiting the park with her family.
The park was packed with families making the most of the Bank Holiday sunshine, and many took to Twitter.
A spokesman for Longleat Safari Park said the car caught fire after it overheated at around 1pm in the first of two lion enclosures, which included 12 of the animals. Rangers held back the lions while the woman and two children were ushered into another ranger's van before the animals were locked into their overnight enclosure.
A road through the park was cleared for the fire service who extinguished the burning car which has now been removed. No visitors or lions were hurt and the park was closed for around 15 minutes. 16 year old George Lear from Bristol watched the drama unfold from his family's car.