Enormous lion terrifies photographer with loud roar — then smiles at him

Daniel Eriksson/freeimages.com

Gren Sowerby from England got the "shock of his life" while photographing a lion in Kenya while on a safari. But instead of attacking Sowerby, the lion appeared to smile at the startled photographer.

Sowerby, 69, said he was on a safari in Maasai Mara, Kenya in September and leaned in to take the photo of the apex predator when it let out a massive roar, according to KSAZ.

"I lent [sic] in to take a photo when he let out a huge roar — I got the shock of my life," Sowerby said.

"He roared to say: 'I'm the King of the Jungle' and then I couldn't believe it when he smiled at me like when someone winks at you to say like: 'Haha!'"

Sowerby added that he "was probably 10 to 15 meters (32 to 50 feet) away" from the lion, who was with a lioness and was crossing a stream. "They had a kill in the bushes and I think he let out a roar probably to say that he was full!"

Sowerby, who lives in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, said that he was "taken aback by the sheer size" of the lion, but that he was "really happy with the photos" nonetheless.