An African lion.
© Stephane De Sakutin / AFP
An African lion.
The founder of a private animal reserve in South Africa is reportedly in serious condition after being mauled by a lion in front of shocked bystanders.

The man, understood to be a British citizen, was attacked inside a lion enclosure at an animal sanctuary in Limpopo, South Africa.

Harrowing footage obtained by News24 shows the moment of the lion attack, which occurred in a rural province bordering Botswana and Zimbabwe.

In the 90-second clip, a man can be seen being dragged away from the gate of a fenced-off enclosure by a male lion. The big cat's victim calls out for help in front of screaming bystanders before a number of gunshots can be heard to ring out.

Local police lieutenant colonel Moatshe Ngoepe told local media that the victim is currently in hospital with serious injuries. RT.com has reached out to the animal sanctuary and the UK Foreign Office for further details.

The injured man is believed to have set up the 'predator park' in 2003 after emigrating to Thabazimbi from the UK in the late 1990s.

Tours of the park include a 'lion mobile,' with the sanctuary's website promising to give customers a chance to look the fearsome animals straight in the eyes.