Rugby Union

Scott Baldwin bitten by a lion in South Africa

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Professional sportsmen have to be careful, after all it isn't just what they do on the pitch that can stop them from playing.  

There has been there fair share of strange injuries off the field. Whether it be Glenallen Hill, who managed to have a nightmare that he was being chased by giant spiders, only to fall through a glass table. Or even Marco Asensio trying to epilate his legs, only to get an infection from an ingrown hair, causing him to miss Real Madrid's next game.  

Injuries like this must make managers want to rip their hair out, how ironic? So, with this constant worry that something may stop a sportsman from playing, surely they would take extra precautions in certain, potentially dangerous situations. Well, sometimes that does not happen.  

Scott Baldwin recently decided to make a bold decision that has resulted in him injuring his hand, and ruling him unavailable for the Ospreys match against the Cheetahs in South Africa.  

The Welsh international was on a team trip at Weltevrede Game Lodge when he saw a lion in an enclosure and thought the best thing to do in that situation was to pat it on the head.

Despite being told numerous times by staff and factoring in some basic common sense, in the blink of an eye, the hooker was given a painful punishment.  

Former England player Andy Goode videoed the incident which shows a few players stroking the lions through the fence. Baldwin decided to go one step further by patting the head of one of the males - only for the lion to snap and bite the Welshman's hand in the process.

The incident could have been a lot worse for Baldwin, who fortunately escaped needing just a few stitches and isn't expected to be out of action for too long.

Ospreys boss Steve Tandy wasn't overly impressed, however, and slammed the hooker for ignoring warnings not to touch the lions.

"It was pretty stupid on Scott's behalf and he is pretty lucky," said Tandy, per BBC Sport. "It had nothing to do with where we were.

"It was a good environment and we were told how far back to stand.

"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.

"It's probably one of the silliest things I've even been involved in, but thankfully he is OK and hopefully he will be back up and running in the next couple of weeks."

So reaching through a fence and patting a vicious carnivore on the head isn't a good idea, who knew?

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Topics:
England Rugby
Six Nations
Sam Warburton
Wales Rugby
Aviva Premiership
Rugby Union
British & Irish Lions

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