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Car lions: Harrowing experience with car in lions' enclosure

Car lions in close proximity of a British safari gave everyone the scare of a lifetime. Helen Clements was driving through the lions' enclosure at the wildlife park with her two children in the back seat. CBS News reported April 21 that when all of them were attempting to get a close-up view of the big cats, steam appeared to be rising from under the hood.

The incident that happened Sunday in Wiltshire, England turned into a close call. Clements described the steam as turning into smoke. She honked the horn when she realized it was time to alert someone to help them out. By the time park rangers arrived, they instructed her to get back in the vehicle.

"Then the flames came out of the car, and were obviously coming into the car," she recalled. "We then thought we had better get out the car, but obviously the rangers were saying get back in the car." Lions roam freely inside the enclosure and walk right up to zoo visitors in their cars. In this instance, the lions were ahead of them as other cars in front of their vehicle were blocking the view.

"It was very difficult to know what to do. Get in the car or get out the car," said Clements.

Clements and her two kids were safely moved to a range vehicle. Fortunately they were rescued before the car that was near the lions burst into flames. Unfortunately, the family didn't get a chance to really see the lions in the midst of their unexpected crisis. Clements said despite the bad luck they had that day, she wants to go back and see the lions.

Clement's harrowing experience was also covered on The Guardian. "I can laugh about it now – it's only a car and we're all safe," Clements said. "You look at the funny side of it now."

This car and lions headline certainly got the world's attention. At least the big cats weren't the issue in this dangerous situation.

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