A WOMAN was mauled "like a ragdoll" by a lion after she went into its enclosure to pose for a photograph.

Olga Solomina, 46, visited the Taygan Safari Park in Crimea, Ukraine, and wanted a picture with the lion.

She knelt down next to the animal but it suddenly grabbed her arm and dragged her away after she stroked its mane.

It launched a vicious attack and Olga was just inches from death but was luckily saved by zoo director Oleg Zubkov.

But she now claims Mr Zubkov refused to let her call an ambulance and had her treated by the zoo vet, giving her cognac instead of an anaesthetic and saying the attack happened because she was drunk.

Olga said: “I squatted down and put my hand on the lion as I was told. Next moment it grasped my arm and dragged me like a rag doll.

“The other lions jumped to their feet. I closed my eyes in fear waiting to be torn apart by the pride. It lasted several seconds that felt like eternity for me.”

Many people had flocked to the zoo after its owner made headlines around the world using his slipper to throw it at the dominant lion when he spotted it bullying a young lioness.

Incredibly, there were people sitting in a vehicle in the enclosure with him, filming what was going on.

The remarkable footage of the lions cowed by the slipper went viral worldwide, and Olga was one of those people who decided to take the tour.

Olga, from Kirov in Russia, was eventually saved when Mr Zubkov put her into a car and drove her to the zoo offices.

He had covered Ms Solomina's badly injured arm with a towel and she said: "He asked me not to call the police or an ambulance, saying that my injuries were not dangerous.

"At his office, his secretary treated my lacerations with hydrogen peroxide. Then a veterinarian came.

“He injected me with lidocaine and stitched the wounds. Instead of anaesthetising me they gave me a bottle of cognac. They did not give me any antibiotics."

Doctors later diagnosed her with a serious infection caused from the bite.

Hospital spokesman Nikolai Vlasov said: "The infection got into her body from the teeth of the animal. It is a very dangerous infection. She underwent surgery.

“Her health condition became better, but she needs further treatment.

“At the moment it's still not clear if she will regain full usage of her arm."

Mr Zubkov claimed it was Olga's fault she was attacked by the lion, saying she turned up drunk and adding that the lion only bit her because she tried to stroke its mane.

He told local media: "Obviously, the young lion did not like the smell of alcohol that came from Olga."

The safari park is refusing to pay the 1,000,000 RUB (£12,000) compensation she is demanding, saying she signed a document accepting that the excursion was dangerous.

Police are investigating.