Wales hooker Scott Baldwin was described as "pretty lucky" and "pretty stupid" after being bitten on the hand by a lion in Bloemfontein.
The incident happened at a game park prior to Ospreys' Guinness Pro14 game against South African franchise Cheetahs, which the Welsh side lost 44-25, and the 29 year-old was taken to hospital to receive stitches and treatment against infection.
Coach Steve Tandy had no sympathy for his player, suggesting Baldwin had ignored instruction and attempted to pet the animal.
"There was an incident with a lion, but in fairness it was nothing to do with the lion," he said in a press conference, which was uploaded to YouTube.
"He did bite Scott but when you put your hand in a fence where there is a lion, then you will get bitten.
"It was pretty stupid on Scott's behalf and he is pretty lucky. It was a good environment and we were told how far back to stand.
"I don't know what sort of wildlife show Scott has been watching where you can pat a lion on the head as if it's a kitten."
The club issued a formal statement which read: "Ospreys Rugby can confirm that Scott Baldwin sustained a hand injury on Wednesday.
"The team doctor treated a laceration and, subsequently, he was admitted to a local hospital in Bloemfontein on Thursday evening for further treatment to prevent infection.
"He will be released on Saturday morning to travel home with the rest of the squad as planned."