Out of the fire and into the lion's den: Family's car goes up in smoke in Longleat Safari Park enclosure

Park rangers rescued a mother and two children following the incident on Good Friday

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The Independent Online

A family were caught in a terrifying situation when they were forced to abandon their car in the lion enclosure at Longleat Safari Park after it caught fire.

The vehicle overheated while travelling through the Wiltshire attraction on Friday afternoon at around 1pm.

A mother and her two children were rescued from the car by rangers just minutes before it burst into flames.

Kevin Ashley, from Longleat Safari Park, told the BBC: “The lions were cleared from the enclosure and the safari park was closed.”

The fire was extinguished quickly and no humans or animals were hurt, the park said.

On Twitter, visitors expressed their shock at witnessing the incident. @annabing tweeted: “Slight drama at Longleat! Car catches fire in the middle of the lion enclosure! Eeek!”

And @georgelear_ said: "A car set on fire in the lion enclosure at Longleat and it made my day", while @MissLight 20 tweeted: "Bad day for someone at Longleat! And we were in the lion enclosure #notagoodtimeforabreakdown."