Jilani is a male lion at the West Midlands Safari Park in Bewdley, who normally hangs out with his two brothers. However, when a dispute over a piece of meat started between a lioness and Jilani, his brothers were not close by to stand up for him. The dispute grew as eight other lionesses started to attack poor Jilani.

In what looks like a vicious (but fortunately not bloody) battle in the video included below, safari park personnel arrive at the scene, spraying the lions with water. As reported by the BBC, Jilani is now recovering from his bruised body (and ego).

Lion attack at West Midlands Safari Park

As reported by the Coventry Telegraph, Mya Beverstock, 19, an amateur photographer from Kenilworth, captured the moment when the lionesses pounced on the lion. She was with her parents at the safari park on Wednesday last week and at around 11:45 AM, she spotted the female lions crowding around Jilani before suddenly pouncing on him.

She captured dramatic footage of the incident, where the male lion roars with pain before safari park staff arrived at the scene and began hosing the lions down to separate them. The Telegraph quotes Mya as saying the lionesses were biting Jilani’s back legs and neck and had him pinned to the ground. The teenager said the attack looked “really vicious” and that she could see from his eyes he believed he was going to die.

Mya went on to say how incredible it was to see the “king of the jungle” in such a vulnerable position. She said he almost seemed to be pleading for help.

Statement by the safari park

Initially, reports were stating that the fight started over leadership of the pack, saying the lionesses thought Jilani was too old to lead them.

The safari park has now issued a statement to say the brutal attack was over food. According to the statement, Jilani has received pain medication for his injuries and is now recovering with his two brothers in an area away from the female lions.

They explained that the dispute was over some meat, adding that Jilani normally sticks with his two brothers, but in this case, they were separated when the females attacked.

The statement went on to explain that keepers split up the fight. After the fight was broken up, Jilani was checked by the park’s vet who found that while Jilani is stiff and painful, he had no serious injuries from the attack. The lion was to join the pride again over the weekend.

The park explained that the males had been slowly introduced to the lionesses last year and that the pride is still settling in. The lions are carefully monitored by the carnivore keepers in the safari park, but the statement explained that, as in the wild, disputes like this occur within the pride.