Who’s king of the jungle now?
A pair of wildlife researchers fought off a starving lion who attacked one of them in Africa — by punching the predator in the face and hurling elephant poop at it, according to wild reports.
Gotz Neef, 32, was snoozing in a tent in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana on Dec. 7 when the big cat tried to turn him into dinner — mauling his head and torso, according to a Facebook post about the incident.
“I screamed in pain,” Neef, a Wild Bird Trust researcher, told the told the UK Sun. “The lion started to bite me and got my head but I managed to pull it out and pushed my left elbow in his face.”
As he fought off the the emaciated beast, fellow researcher Rainer Von Brandis — who had been sleeping nearby — sprang to action while dressed only from the top-up, according to the outlet.
Von Brandis, 46, began tossing elephant dung and branches at the elderly lion to save his pal’s life.
“I guess I was not a pretty sight in just a t-shirt, naked from the waist down and wearing a head torch screaming at this lion who was attacking my friend!” he said, adding that the lion appeared to be spooked for a moment.
“The lion jumped a bit but was it was so hungry and so desperate and this was its last chance at a kill to feed or it would die so it restarted its attack and began trying to eat Gotz again.”
Eventually, a third researcher helped wrestle the animal away from Neef, who was later airlifted to a hospital in Namibia with 16 wounds on his arms and torso. He is now recovering with his parents, according to the Sun.
“It is not many people that survive a lion attack and he will have quite a few scars to show his children and grand-children,” Von Brandis added.
It’s unclear what became of the lion, who had been starving to death because he was driven out of his pride.
Neef and Von Brandis are part of a Wild Bird Trust mission that is funded by the National Geographic Society.