WATCH: 'He's biting him!' Man in hospital after lion attack at Free State lodge

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Pieter Nortjé cuddling a lion cub at the Tikwe River Lodge where he was attacked by a lion on Sunday. (Image via Facebook)
Pieter Nortjé cuddling a lion cub at the Tikwe River Lodge where he was attacked by a lion on Sunday. (Image via Facebook)

A 55-year-old man was severely injured when he was bitten on the arm while trying to stroke a lioness at a lodge in Virginia, Free State, on Sunday, Netwerk24 reported

Pieter Nortjé and his wife, Ilze, were reportedly visiting the Tikwe River Lodge for the weekend as a gift to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.  

In a video that has been circulating on social media, Nortjé can be seen cuddling an adult lion by sticking his arm through a fence. 

"If you bite me, I'm going to bite you back!" he quips as he cuddles the lion. 

He is then approached by a lioness. "Come here, lovey, let daddy stroke you," he calls to her. 

She then locks her jaws around his right arm and pulls him towards the fence. "Eina!" Nortjé exclaims in panic. 

'He's biting him!'

A woman is then heard screaming, off camera: "He's biting him! He's biting him!"

According to Volksblad, a shocked Nortjé, who is an artisan at SA Truck Bodies in Bloemfontein, was taken to the Katleho Hospital in Virginia and has since been transferred to the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.

He is reportedly in a serious condition and suffering from septic shock. 

In May last year, a lion that attacked its owner at a private game reserve near Thabazimbi in Limpopo was shot dead, News24 reported. Michael Hodge, 72, the owner of Marakele Predator Centre "bottle raised" the lion, Shamba since birth. Hodge broke his jaw and sustained injuries to his neck during the attack. 

In February last year, a 22-year-old woman was attacked and mauled to death by a lion at the Dinokeng Game Reserve in Hammanskraal, News24 reported.

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