03/02/2012 11:42 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2012

Peter Davidson, Owner Of Australian Hunting Safari, Mauled By Lion

Administrators at Crocodylus Park in Darwin, Australia, are reportedly baffled by an employee who stuck his arm into a lion's enclosure, causing him to be mauled by the animal, the Telegraph reports.

The victim, 42-year-old Peter Davidson, is the owner of nearby Arnhemland Hunting Safaris and was working at the park as a contractor hired to spray weeds, the Australian Associated Press reports.

He was working near the enclosure of Shebe the lioness when he decided to put his arm through the cage, prompting her to attack.

Davidson's muscle was torn from the bone, and he was immediately rushed to the hospital and scheduled for surgery.

A source close to Davidson told the Northern Territory News that he was trying to scratch the 10-year-old lioness behind the ear.

Whatever his motivation, Davidson has left park administrators stunned by his actions.

"I still can't come to grips with why someone would [do that]," Grahame Webb, the wildlife park's director, told ABC radio. "I wouldn't put my arm in with a lion if my life depended on it."

Webb told the AAP that Shebe has never attacked anyone before this incident.

The lioness was brought to Crocodylus from Darling Downs Zoo along with her mate, a lion named Leo, according to a profile by the Northern Territory News.

Photo by Flickr user Alaina Abplanalp Photography