Pakistan-based nature photographer Atif Saeed has taken countless images of wild animals, but he may have just experienced his closest encounter of all while shooting pictures of a big, badass lion. Luckily, he was able to capture the heart racing moment on camera.
Saeed was cruising around the safari zoo park near Lahore when he saw the majestic lion and he stopped to take some photos. He got out of his Jeep and sat low to the ground to get just the right shot.
It didn’t take long before the clicking of the camera lens caught the lion’s attention, causing him to turn and look at Saeed, locking eyes with the photographer. Seconds before the beautiful beast charged at Saeed he was able to capture these stunning photos of angry lion.
In an interview with the Dailymail, Saeed explained what he was thinking the moment the lion locked eyes with him wearing a menacing glare. “I was thinking–I must show the character and status of lion and this was the only way I could think of to achieve this.”
Saeed was armed with only his camera gear when the lion started charging at him. The lion was only 10 feet away from Saeed when he scrambled back into his Jeep and took off.
“I was sitting in front of him just near my car and the door of my car was open. I was sat on ground few feet away, so he was treating me like his prey.”
“The story finished in few seconds as the lion aggressively jumped towards me and I just scrambled into my car. I was laughing at that time, but now when I think back about the incident I don’t think I would be able to do it again. It was a pretty close encounter.”