A video has gone viral after a father posted footage of a tiger at Dublin Zoo pouncing at his young son, who was protected by a large glass safety window.

During a family visit to the zoo yesterday, Rob Costelloe and his son Sean paid a visit to the tiger enclosure.

In the seven-second video, the youngster can be seen standing with his back against the glass window while a large tiger slowly approaches behind him. 

The tiger suddenly leaps to pounce on the boy, but hits the window, causing the young boy to jump down in fright while onlookers laugh. 

Speaking to RTÉ's News At One, Mr Costelloe said he could see the tiger's stance "change a little bit" as the animal caught sight of his seven-year-old son. "I kind of twigged that something was about to happen.

"I took out my camera and as soon as I did, the tiger ran down the hill and launched at the window fairly furiously. Sean got a laugh - it didn't particularly faze him. I kind of laughed hysterically," he explained.

Mr Costelloe, who regularly visits the zoo with his family, said to catch the incident on camera was "a little special".

The video has since been viewed over 500,000 times and shared nearly 6,000 times. 

"As much as there's a bit of a laugh, it is also quite sad as well, because obviously there's great conservation that happens in zoos around the world, but they (the animals) are obviously captive as well so you do have to consider that as well."

Mr Costelloe added that he has been contacted by numerous news outlets worldwide looking for access to the footage, saying that Sean "thinks he's famous".

"I think it's something he'll enjoy telling his friends at school when he's back after the Christmas break."