Most watched: 'Incredibly stupid' tourist nearly gets his hand bitten off trying to stroke lion out the car window in Tanzania

This story was first published on Monday June 18.

A tourist, visiting the Serengeti Safari Park in Tanzania, has been filmed foolishly trying to pat a fully grown male lion out the window of a car, only for the unhappy beast to turn and roar at him with his full fury.

The shocking video was posted to YouTube at the weekend, where the incredibly dangerous stunt has already racked up over half a million views.

In the footage a car full of tourists can be seen pulling up right next to a male lion who is standing protectively over his female lion companion.

One of the men in the vehicle then reaches out of the open window and attempts to pat the large male lion while it isn't looking.

But, predictably, the lion didn't take kindly, with the man quickly retracting his hand leading as the lion turned its head and snarled angrily, ready to attack.

"Only those who work in the wild know the speed of a lion and it could have torn the arm off the person touching it,"  South African safari ranger Naas Smit said told The Sun.

"It would have the power to pull that tourist straight out of that window and kill them instantly in front of their friends. It was an incredibly stupid thing to do."

The man's actions were also putting his friends at danger ranger Smit said.

"It could also just have easily crashed its way through the open window and torn into those inside. They were lucky to get away with it. They are wild animals.

“I just have to shake my head when I see people behaving like this and they deserve all they get," he said.