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The horrifying moment a lion grabs a toddler on national television.

Content warning: This footage may be distressing to some viewers.

Whoever thought placing a hungry lion and a tiny toddler in the same vicinity was a stellar idea probably should have thought again.

Startling footage from a 2003 Mexican talk show Con Sello de Mujer has resurfaced this week, and it’s making waves across the internet.

While the segment started off peacefully — with zoo keepers and TV presenters chatting about the seemingly placid animal — it soon descended into chaos. Horrifying footage shows the young lion spotting the little girl, sucking on a lollipop entwined with her mother’s legs, before launching at her with its bare teeth.

Horrifying footage shows the young lion spotting the little girl, sucking on a lollipop and entwined with her mother’s legs, before launching at her with its bare teeth.

Zoo keepers cried "No, no!" as they tousled with the lion. (Image: YouTube)

Distressed squeals ring out from the toddler and her mother as the lion wrestles with her little torso and legs as the zoo keepers cry "no, no!" to deter him.

The animal's minders hurriedly pry the animal's jaws free from the girl's jeans, before reassuring the crew and mother that everything is fine.

One of the minders even scoops the screaming child up and rocks her back and forth as her mother looks on in complete shock.

Most surprising of all, the hosts then quickly usher the mother and child off stage, before bringing the lion back on to be cuddled, admired and petted.

It simply defies belief. We can only hope this was the last time execs thought little kids and dangerous animals belong on the same TV set.

Watch the incident unfold below.

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