Plucked from the jaws of death: Ranger dragged out of lion's MOUTH by brave colleague

A game ranger was pulled out from the jaws of a lion after he was attacked by the beast at a wildlife park in South Africa, officials said today.

Albert Bojone, who is aged in his 40s, was travelling on the back of an open truck when the killer animal leaped up and grabbed his leg between its teeth.

Mr Bonjone tried frantically to free himself following the attack, which happened yesterday at the remote Kgalagadi game reserve near the country's border with Botswana.

Dramatic escape: Albert Bojone was saved by a brave colleague at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Dramatic escape: Albert Bojone was saved by a brave colleague at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

But he was eventually saved by a brave colleague who risked his own life to pull him out from the lion's jaws and back into the cabin of the vehicle.

The lion was then shot dead by a ranger - with Mr Bojone's boot still stuck between its teeth.

Henritte Engelbrecht, spokeswoman for South Africa's National Parks, said Mr Bojane was lucky to have escaped alive from the incident.

She said: 'This was totally terrifying for him and it all happened so fast - in a few seconds or less.

'Albert was out with two other rangers looking for lions in the park.

'He was standing on the back of the vehicle and working as a spotter.

'They had been following two male lions through the reserve and slowed down as they got close.

'As they did so one of the lions leaped up and grabbed Albert on the arm.

'He was protected by the bars of the back of the truck and the lion fell back.

'Albert then climbed onto the roof of the vehicle in an effort to get away from the animal but it leaped up onto the car and attacked him again.

'This time it grabbed his leg between its teeth and bit down on his foot'.

Ms Engelbrecht said Mr Bojone was battling the beast when his colleague Graeme Ellis climbed out of the vehicle to help.

She added: 'It was incredibly brave as the second lion was still around.

'I have no idea how Graeme did it, but he somehow managed to pull Albert from the jaws of the lion and get him back into the cabin.

'The lion was enraged and remained on the roof of the truck, where it was shot by a farmer who was with the group.

'Albert was bleeding heavily by then and they rushed him to hospital.

'He was in shock but was lucky to be alive at all.

'Without the quick thinking of his colleague he would almost certainly have died'.

Mr Bojane, who has worked as a game ranger for 22 years, was today being treated at a private hospital in the city of Upington in South Africa's Northern Cape province.

Officials said he suffered severe lacerations to his foot during the attack and also broke his thumb as he tried to fight against the beast.

He was yesterday presented with his boot as a souvenir of the near-tragedy.

Incredibly the lion had bitten four holes through the leather as it gripped him in its teeth.

Park officials said the group of rangers had been looking for lions as part of a project to relocate them to another area of the park.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a vast and remote reserve which straddles South Africa and Botswana.

In South Africa the park is fenced for the protection of those living nearby.

But in Botswana it has no external fencing, meaning the wildlife is free to roam.

As a result rangers are employed to trace animals which have strayed too far from the reserve and relocate them back into the park.

Officials said thousands of animals had been successfully moved in recent decades.

It is believed yesterday's incident was the first time a ranger has been attacked by a lion.

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now