May 26, 2023 | 3:59 p.m.
In the campsite, the quiet campsite, the lion crawls tonight.
Botswana campers had a closer-than-expected wildlife encounter after a huge male lion wandered through their campsite – crawling just feet from petrified safari goers.
“Lions enter camps unannounced and in complete silence as happened to us,” an unidentified videographer said of the “once in a lifetime” sighting, which was filmed May 8 in a Kgalagadi Nature Reserve, Storyful reported.
The jaw-dropping POV sequence begins with the predator roaming around the perimeter of the campsite like a scene from Idris Ilba’s 2022 horror film “Beast.”
After seemingly wandering through the brush, the big cat turns and walks towards the family, who whisper to each other not to move.
The Pride Patriarch then walks over to their dining table and inspects the cutlery.
At some point during the Mane encounter, the feline accidentally knocks a bottle off the table and slams it loudly onto the floor, seemingly shattering his perception as a stealthy hunter.
The clip ends with the lion approaching within feet of safari onlookers, still in statue form, before giving them a chilling stare – then vanishing into thin air.
It might have seemed prudent to try and flee the scene before the big cat – which can grow to 10ft long and weigh up to 550lbs – came within maiming distance.
However, one of the campers told Storyful that they had agreed before the trip that if they had such an encounter they “wouldn’t go running, as that would encourage most wildlife to hunt.”
“If someone panics and runs or makes sudden movements, there is a good chance that they will be attacked,” the witness said.
And while she acknowledged the privilege of witnessing such a regal animal up close, she acknowledged there was “no room for error”.