Sun, Oct 01, 2017 - Page 11 News List

‘Stupid’ hooker apologizes over lion bite

MISSED OPPORTUNITY:The Ospreys lost to the Cheetahs 44-25 at the Free State Stadium on Friday, their fourth loss in five Pro14 rugby union matches this season

AFP and Reuters, LONDON and BLOEMFONTEIN

Wales hooker Scott Baldwin yesterday apologized to Ospreys fans for being bitten by a lion after stroking the latter’s lioness, which forced him to sit out their Pro14 rugby union match on Friday.

The 29-year-old — who joined the Ospreys in 2009 and has been capped 34 times by Wales — was labeled “stupid” by team coach Steve Tandy after he put his hand through a fence and was bitten by a lion in South Africa.

Baldwin took to twitter to apologize and admit he had made a serious misjudgement in attempting to stroke the lioness.

“Sorry all Ospreys fans for letting you and the team down by missing the game through the bite!” tweeted a contrite Baldwin, along with a video of the incident. “Should of known he wouldn’t be impressed with me stroking his lioness before introducing myself to him first [adding a hands up icon].”

“And for those asking my hand is on the mend thankfully & should be up & running round soon enough thanks for your support & concern [with a hands held in prayer icon],” added Baldwin, who had the wound cleaned and stitched following the incident.

Tandy had not minced his words when he spoke to reporters after the match, which the Ospreys lost 44-25 to the Cheetahs, a record-equaling fourth defeat in five Pro14 matches for the club.

“There was an incident with a lion, but in fairness it was nothing to do with the lion. He did bite Scott, but when you put your hand in a fence where there is a lion, then you will get bitten,” Tandy told reporters after Friday’s match.

“It was pretty stupid on Scott’s behalf and he is pretty lucky... I don’t know what sort of wildlife show Scott has been watching where you can pat a lion on the head as if it’s a kitten,” he added.

“It’s probably one of the silliest things I’ve even been involved in, but thankfully he is okay,” Tandy said.

Tandy cleared the game lodge of any responsibility, saying the visiting Welsh party were told not to stick hands into the lion enclosure.

“It was a good environment and we were told how far back to stand,” the coach said. “It had nothing to do with where we were.”

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