The terrifying moment a lion tries to pounce on a little boy at a zoo.

If Hollywood taught us anything it is that you never EVER turn your back on a big cat.

And this heart-stopping footage from a zoo in Japan shows us exactly why.

The amateur video, captured at Chiba Zoo shows a little boy engaged in a staring contest with a large lion.

The little boy then turns his back on the lion but the lion being, well a lion doesn’t see a little boy, he sees a small yellow animal that looks like dinner.

The footage shows the lion then lunging for the two-year-old boy – dressed in a bright yellow rain coat –  before face-planting into its glass enclosure.

The lion, which is said to weigh about 181kg, hits the glass at full speed, colliding with the window face-first.

He paws fruitlessly at the glass, giving those watching a fright before slowly slinking away.

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Defeated.

Zookeepers have however said that the lion only wanted to 'play' with boy. Via YouTube.

Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, told The Dodo  the “natural wild predator" saw the child as prey.

"The firm glass wall held the lion inside his enclosure, surely frustrating his innate instincts. But luckily for the family, if the barrier had not held the consequences could have been catastrophic."

He said the video highlights why keeping wild predators in such captivity is both cruel and dangerous.

The zookeepers have however said that the lion only wanted to 'play' with boy and always reacts this way whenever it sees young children.

The Jungle Book. Via Facebook.

Not dinner.

A toy.

Nevertheless it is a timely reminder. Never turn away.

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