Man Slammed For Smashing Cake Into Lion's Face

A man has been ripped to shreds online after footage emerged of him shoving a cake into a lion's face before breaking out in hysterics.

The video posted to social media shows a group of men gathered around the pet lion as one shoves a birthday cake straight into its face.

As the men shake with laughter the clearly shocked lion flees from the group and paws its face.

"Each and every person in this video needs to have cake thrown in their face, every hour on the hour, for the rest of their lives," biologist Daniel Schnieder posted to Twitter beside a video of the incident. "Why is it so hard to be kind to animals?"

Actor Ricky Gervais -- who is a well-known animal lover -- retweeted the video with an explosive attack: "Dirty, worthless filth".

Schneider responded, labelling the men involved "human garbage".

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The video has been seen more than 1.5 million times and has thousands of comments, many of which describe the act as "disgusting" and "cruel".

It's not known where the video was taken or how Schneider got his hands on it.

The man behind the blow is reportedly Sheikh Blend Berifkani, the head of the Kurdish American Cooperation Organisation, which is a not-for-profit.

"I admit, it was wrong for throwing a cake on the lions face (sic), I have let my emotions of excitement take over me and I apologize to those whom I have offended," he posted to his Instagram account in the wake of the backlash, according to the Mail.

"I’m not an animal abuser, I’m constantly working on projects that show how important animals are to me, especially Leo and how much I care for his well-being. I assure you that Leo is safe and will soon return to the wild."

He also re-posted messages of support.

Photo: Instagram/@blend_brifkani