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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Confused lions 'hunt' small cars
A pride of lions at Knowsley Safari Park
There are 12 lions at Knowsley Safari Park
Small cars driving through a safari park in Merseyside have been chased by confused lions who think they are prey.

Staff at Knowsley Safari Park are monitoring smaller vehicles, including Smart cars and Mini Coopers, after the lions started paying special interest.

David Ross, park manager, told the BBC News website that a group of lionesses chased after one Smart car after being confused by its compact appearance.

He said staff were stationed near the enclosure to keep visitors safe.

'Raise an eyebrow'

Unusual features on cars can also spark interest by the 12 lions at the park, which are more used to seeing larger saloon cars. All vehicles are monitored by park staff on the way in.

Mr Ross said: "The lions will take an interest in peculiarities on cars and we always keep a close eye on the cars coming in.

"With Smart cars and sometimes Mini Coopers the lions definitely raise an eyebrow. It sparks their interest because of their size.

"We had an incident of two ladies in a car being chased by lionesses.

"It must have been quite frightening for them, but we always have staff in a vehicle by the lion enclosure to deal with any problems."

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