Heart-stopping moment lion pounces for five-year-old at Scots zoo


A HEART-STOPPING video shows the moment a ferocious lion pounced for a five-year-old boy at a Scots zoo – with just a sheet of glass between them.

The incredible footage shows little Evan Kennedy screeching in terror as Jayendra the lion tried to get his claws on the youngster at Edinburgh Zoo on Friday.

In the clip, the eleven-year-old Asiatic lion is shown holding his gaze at Evan as he walks back and forth inside the protective viewing area in the zoo.


As Evan stands back to pose for a photograph in front of the enclosure, Jayendra is shown quickly jumping for the young Scot.

The brave youngster, from East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, jumps forward before bursting out laughing as his family can be heard screaming and chuckling.

The king of the jungle’s huge paws are shown scratching against the protective glass screen as he eyes up his prey.

Muddy paw prints can be spotted smeared across the screen as Jayendra continues to pace whilst keeping his eyes firmly on Evan.

Little Ryan got a shock on his first zoo visit - Scottish Animal News
Evan with sister Orla,7.                                                                                                       (c) Catherine Kennedy

The female lion Roberta is shown walking around in the background as the whole incident unfolds.

Evan’s mother, Catherine Kennedy, shared the clip onto Twitter yesterday, writing: “The lion at Edinburgh Zoo thought Evan was dinner.” 

Speaking today, mother-of-three Catherine said: “It was just before closing time so we were heading back to the exit and noticed the lions at the glass.

“It was jumping up at the glass so I was trying to get a picture of Evan with the lion behind him, every time Evan moved it followed him.

“We went to the zoo on Friday last week because it had been Evan’s birthday on Thursday the 27th so there was me, my husband and his two big sisters Lily, 13, and Orla, 7.

“It was actually Lily who was filming it. It was his first time at the zoo.

Heart-stopping moment lion pounces for five-year-old at zoo - Scottish Animal News
Mother Catherine with Lily, Evan and Orla.                                                                          (c) Catherine Kennedy

“It was lovely, it turned out warm and we had a lovely day.” 

The mother-of-three added: “He had wanted to see the pandas and penguins because they have been watching the zoo webcams but he says his new favourite is the lion.” 

Edinburgh Zoo is home to five Asiatic lions here at Edinburgh Zoo -Jayendra, Roberta, Mitaali, Keshari and Kushanu.

Jayendra was born in 2010 and moved to the Scots zoo in 2012 from Bristol Zoo.

Roberta was born in 2013 and arrived in 2014 from a zoo in Germany. 

In August 2019, Roberta gave birth to Mitaali, Keshari and Kushanu.