Hodge, who founded the sanctuary with his wife Chrissy and stepdaughter Emma in 2010, was reportedly investigating a unusual smell that had been upsetting the lion. The lion came pouncing upon Hodge who tried making a run to the gate, but he was grabbed by the lion's paws before he could escape.
Hodge entered the lion compound to investigate the culprit of a foul smell causing discomfort to one of the lions, according to a friend of the wildlife park owner. The park owner then gets dragged towards the bushes while onlookers scream and look on in despair.
It has become a routine of a sort to step inside animals' enclosure, a mistake that could have proven fatal for Briton owner of Marakele Predator Park in South Africa.
The founder of a private animal reserve in South Africa is reportedly in serious condition after being mauled by a lion in front of shocked bystanders.
The park is believed to be nine kilometers from Thabazimbi.More news: Chelsea suffer considerable team-news blow ahead of FA Cup final
"He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong" she said.
Hodge, who left the United Kingdom for South Africa with his wife Chrissy in 1999, is believed to have suffered neck and jaw injuries stemming from the altercation.
Another man is heard shouting: "Somebody get a rifle, just in case" and a sobbing woman says: "Please, somebody help him".
A video of the incident was also shot by onlookers, where Hodge could be first seen entering the animal's enclosure and then trying to run away from it. When the lion was finished with him, Hodge lay motionless on the ground.
Mike Hodge was attacked by the big cat at the Makarele Predator Centre in Thabazimbi, South Africa, seconds after going into its enclosure. So basically because of this mans stupidity, this fantastic animal has been killed!'