In 2015 an American woman was mauled to death by a lion on a safari ride in South Africa - shedding light on the dangers of these safari parks amidst increased commercialization and a general public perception of safety.
Kevin Richardson, the internet's famous 'Lion Whisperer', spoke out about the incident saying people need to respect the rules of the park and understand the kind of environment the lions are put in.
Richardson explained that wild lions have a natural fear of humans - but, lions kept in parks are used to human activity which may lead them to dangerous human interactions, "They see vehicles on a daily basis, and these vehicles become a point of obsession. And they can also be used, especially with the younger lions and lionesses, to mitigate boredom."
CNN reports 29-year-old Katherine Chappell of Rye, N.Y. was killed while riding as a passenger on a safari trip with her window down. The park told CNN the lioness stopped about a meter from the window as Chappell took pictures, then lunged at her through the window - mauling her to death.
"That's absolutely forbidden at our park," Assistant operations manager Scott Simpson told CNN, referring to Chappell's open window. "There are numerous signs, and we hand out slips of paper to all guests warning them to keep their windows closed."
Richardson's main point in speaking out about the woman's death is to remind people that lions are wild animals and that park rules are put in place to maximize safety. "The real reason for why lions in lion parks - such as the one where this lady was killed - are so dangerous is because the lions have lost their natural fear of people."
Watch the Lion Whisperer explain his entire opinion on the matter here below.