This is the moment a smiling tourist posed beside a lion in its enclosure – before being mauled ‘like a rag doll’ by the animal.
Olga Solomina, 46, grinned as she knelt down and touched the lion’s mane for the photograph at a safari park in Ukraine.
But moments after the picture was taken, things took a turn for the worse when the animal reportedly grabbed her arm and ‘dragged’ her around.
“I squatted down and put my hand on the lion as I was told,” Olga recalled.
“Next moment it grasped my arm and dragged me like a rag doll.”
Olga then lay there believing she was about to die at the Taygan safari park, located in the Crimea region.
She added: “The other lions jumped to their feet. I closed my eyes in fear waiting to be torn apart by the pride.
“It lasted several seconds that felt like eternity for me.”
Zoo director Oleg Zubkov, who was nearby, came to her rescue by chasing the lions away.
He then put her back in a opensided vehicle to drive her to the zoo offices.
However the pair are now locked in a bitter battle over who is to blame and what happened next.
Olga alleges that despite her horrific injuries, her arm was just wrapped in a towel.
She claimed: “He asked me not to call the police or an ambulance, saying that my injuries were not dangerous.
“At his office, his secretary treated my lacerations with hydrogen peroxide. Then a veterinarian came.
“He injected me with lidocaine and stitched the wounds. Instead of anaesthetising me they gave me a bottle of cognac. They did not give me any antibiotics.”
She said that she was then driven home where, drunk from the cognac she had tried to sleep.
However, over the next 24 hours her health condition worsened and she was in incredible pain.
When her temperature escalated, she finally called an ambulance.
Doctors diagnosed her with a serious infection caused from the bite.
Hospital spokesman Nikolai Vlasov said: “The infection got into her body from the teeth of the animal. It is a very dangerous infection. She underwent surgery.
“Her health condition became better, but she needs further treatment. At the moment it’s still not clear if she will regain full usage of her arm.”
However Oleg claims the lion attack was Olga’s own fault, alleging she turned up drunk.
He said the lion only bit her because she tried to stroke it on the mane.
He told local media: “Obviously, the young lion did not like the smell of alcohol that came from Olga.”
The safari park is reportedly refusing to pay the 1,000,000 RUB (£12,000) compensation the visitor is demanding, saying she signed a disclaimer accepting that the excursion was dangerous.
Police are investigating.
Oleg previously made headlines around the world when he threw his slipper at a lion when he spotted it bullying a young lioness.
The incident was caught on camera and went viral.