Zoo lion tries to eat toddler — A lioness at Oregon Zoo was filmed lunging for what it probably assumed was an innocent baby zebra. Alas, the black and white striped “zebra” was actually a one-year-old boy … and there was a hefty pane of glass between the two.
In a video that now has close to two million views on YouTube, little Jack Baltzor is seen enjoying a trip to the zoo. As he sits with his back to the lion enclosure, dressed in black and white stripes and blissfully unaware of the scene he is creating, a lioness repeatedly attempts to break through the glass for a quick snack.
The African lioness, affectionately known as Kya, can be seen stretching her mouth in readiness for a bite, only to be defeated time and again by the reinforced glass wall between her and her prey. Jack remains wonderfully nonplussed throughout, even when he turns to face the thrashing lioness. His mother Heather Baltzor is heard encouraging him to say, “Hi, kitty, kitty.” This provokes much tittering from the family behind the camera.
Heather told the Huff Post:
“It was Jack’s first trip to the zoo. We didn’t even realize he looked like a zebra until we got home but a lot of the animals in the zoo – the crocodiles and the jaguars – apparently did. They would come up to the glass and look at him. We were not worried. We thought it was hilarious.”
And Oregon Zoo Director Kim Smith revealed it was not unusual for lions to react to children in this way. Smith explained:
“She’s using a typical prey behavior.”
It’s certainly a cute video, but we hope Kya got a good feed shortly afterwards – preferably not involving fresh toddler. You can see young Jack’s non-brush with death below: