Ten years after, this very lucky man still enjoys morning cuddles with his massive furry friend: a gentle lioness he rescued when she was just a few days old. Ever since, the spend their time together and their inspiring and unique bond shows the world that love is the language we all speak, humans and animals alike!
Recently, the conservationist Valentin Gruener, shared a video to show everyone his lioness friend’s reaction when she sees him in the morning. The heartwarming footage went viral online, and it’s easy to see why!
@sirgathelioness Sirga doesn‘t understand the concept of social distancing. Luckily, she doesn‘t have to. #tiktokwildlifeday ♬ Oh No I Hope I Don’t Fall… – IndieHay
“Sirga thinks of me as a best friend. She loves to give me a big hug,” Gruener said. “She does rub her head on mine a lot, just like a domestic cat. Sirga has never been aggressive towards me but I have a huge respect for what she is. I am sure she is aware that I am very different.”
Gruener and Sirga have initially met in 2012, and there were not the best circumstances. The now so strong lioness, was only a few days old when Gruener found her. Born in a rehabilitation center, her mom rejected her shortly after birth, and she was the only one to survive from the litter. Gruener brought her at the Modisa Wildlife Project – a wildlife conservation center he co-founded in Botswana. It was there where their great friendship started.
“Sirga is amazingly gentle for a very large cat. When I go to see her, she always hugs me like in that video,” Gruener said. “She has a very friendly and gentle personality for a lion.”