Wales hooker international rugby player Scott Baldwin, 29, missed a match with his team Pro 14 league club Ospreys in South Africa with South African opponents Cheetahs at the Toyota Stadium in Free State's capital city due to an unexpected motivation: he was bitten on the hand by a lion during a visit in a safari park.
The injury, which needed stitches, occurred on Wednesday before the match. A video posted on Twitter shows Baldwin reaching through metal bars to touch the lion. As he strokes the animal on the head as it lays on the ground, it suddenly snaps. The injury needed stitches. "It was pretty stupid on Scott's behalf and he is pretty lucky... I don't know what sort of wildlife show Scott has been watching where you can pat a lion on the head as if it's a kitten,” Ospreys coach Steve Tandy told to media.
Cheetahs 44 - 25 Ospreys
Baldwin will be back up and running in the next couple of weeks. Describing the incident he introduced a joke nuance in a tweet: "Should of know he wouldn't be impressed with me stroking his lioness before introducing myself to him first". In the same mode of joke we can comment “probably the lion was a fan of the local Cheetahs team. Safari parks in Bloemfontein are a big tourist attraction in South Africa. The match result was Cheetahs 44-25 Ospreys.