It must be every safari parks worst nightmare!
The day when a car goes up in flames in the Lion enclosure but yesterday that’s exactly what happened at Longleat Safari park in Wiltshire.
Helen Clements and her daughter, Charlie, 12, and son George, nine, where enjoying a day out at the safari park when there 4×4 started to god up in flamers.
‘Being Good Friday it was busy and we had to keep stopping and starting the car. Everything was fine until we got into the lion enclosure.
‘The car just stopped and started to overheat. What I thought was steam started coming from the bonnet then it got darker and turned into smoke through the vent and towards us.
‘I knew the lions were only 100 yards away and I just didn’t know what to do – should we get out of the car or should we stay? I sounded the horn and could see some park rangers but I kept an eye on the bonnet and then I saw the flames.’
Clements then carried on in saying:
‘I shouted back that we can’t – it’s on fire – and opened the driver’s door and started to get out and at that moment the rangers pulled up and we all jumped in with them.
‘The rangers had to keep the lions out of the way.
‘People who saw it happening said the lions knew something was happening and were intrigued but fortunately didn’t come too close.
‘It all happened so quickly it’s difficult to recall exactly what happened, but the children soon calmed down and they’ve now got a wonderful story to tell all their school chums.
‘It could have been a lot worse. My daughter was mainly upset that she’d left her phone in the car.’
Local fire crew where called to the scene and Watch manager Chris Trimby said:
‘When we arrived the car was well alight.
‘Our main concern was being able to get to the car safely while inside a lion enclosure.’ A spokesman for Longleat said: ‘On Friday at around 1pm a car overheated in the first lion enclosure at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park.
‘The lions were cleared from the enclosure and the safari park was closed. No one was injured in any way and no lions were hurt.
‘The vehicle has been safely removed and the safari park has fully re-opened to visitors.’
At least no one got hurt and we bet her kids cant wait to goo back to school and tell all their friends.