A shocking video shows the moment a group of vets had to run for their lives after a sedated lion woke up unexpectedly ahead of vasectomy surgery.
The footage shows a group of vets attempting to transport a male lion to a safe place to perform a vasectomy. However, as seen in the video, which recently went viral on TikTok with more than 56 million views, the sedated big cat suddenly wakes up – leaving the frantic vets running for their lives.
One of the people in the video is Dr Emily Cehrs, 31, who was in charge of performing the surgery on the lion. She explained the bizarre reason the animal woke up despite being under sedation.
“Cats can undergo something called ‘spontaneous arousal’ when under sedation or anaesthesia,” Dr Emily, a wildlife and zoo veterinarian, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.
“If they are stimulated by something such as pain, loud noises, or being picked up, they can wake up quickly, despite being previously heavily sedated – this is what happened in this video.
“The lion did not like the sensation of being picked up, so it woke up quickly. When something like this happens, your fight or flight response kicks in, and I moved away from that cat very fast.”
When the video was taken, Dr Emily and her team were loading a lion onto a stretcher so that they could transport it to a safe place to perform the vasectomy.
In South Africa, all game reserves are fenced, and so you have to manage the population of animals on the reserve. Vasectomies are done frequently on lions in South Africa to manage the population and control in-breeding.
“The lion was heavily sedated, but once we picked it up, it woke up slightly. I was aware that this could happen and was prepared for this,” she said.
Luckily for Dr Emily and her team, the scared lion wasn’t awake for long, and as seen in the clip, shortly falls back to sleep leaving the group relieved.
Dr Emily was able to successfully perform the vasectomy on the lion despite the rocky start, and she says the cat is doing really well.
The clip was filmed in South Africa in 2021 and recently went viral on TikTok, garnering 1.7 million likes.
Users have commented on the video, with one saying: “I can’t stop laughing at how everyone just knew it was time to run.” Another user said, “All I can do is laugh…” while someone else commented, “I would’ve been walking on air at that point.”