Lion eyes toddler for lunch, smashes headfirst into enclosure glass (VIDEO)

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A two-year-old boy visiting a zoo in Japan came within inches of a ferocious lion attack, but luckily a glass barrier kept him safe - and off the menu.

The big cat was eyeing its next meal when it attempted to pounce on the boy.

The only problem was, the lion didn’t realise there was a glass panel separating it from the rest of the world.

The lion is seen dramatically running at full speed towards the child before slamming head-first into the enclosure’s screen.

Wearing a bright yellow jacket, the toddler looks more than a little startled as the big cat bashes and claws at the glass, trying to break through before giving up and walking away.

Lion expert Adam Roberts said that the moment the boy turned his back on the animal, breaking eye contact, was when he became ‘prey’.

“Lions are natural wild predators and the child in this video, especially when turning his back to the massive feline, becomes prey in the animal’s eyes,” he told The Dodo.

Lions are second to cheetahs as the fastest felines in the world, hitting a top speed of up to 80kph (50mph).