It is a strong reason why they call lion ‘the king of the jungle.’ Their muscular build and incredible strength make them one of the most fearsome predators on Earth. Therefore, is anything but wise to be around these wild cats that could easily weigh 450lbs. However, that didn’t stop Frikkie Von Solms to raise a lion just like any other furry companion.
Now after a decade, the 69-year-old caretaker and Zion the lion are connected by a very powerful bond, based on love and respect. And their story is heartwarming! “Since Zion, I have raised nineteen lions, and leopards and cheetahs,” the man told Daily Mail.
Unfortunately. the 11-year-old lion was born in captivity and because of that, his mom rejected him a few days after he was born. With his fate sealed, Zion was saved just in time by Frikkie Von Solms who use to take care of orphan wild cats in South Africa. He raised the tiny creature like he was his baby. He hand-feed him and he even let him to sleep in his bed. Thanks to Frikkie’s efforts and kindness, Zion has made it through and now the little cub grew into a huge lion.
Despite its fierce looking, Zion is nothing but a gentle giant. A tender creature in whom Frikkie would trust with his own life. The two have spent over 11 years together. And all this time, they’ve learned a lot from each other. “He is special because of the bond we share. I learnt so much from him,” the caretaker said.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience to grow up with him and learn and live with him through all of the stages of being a male lion,” Von Solms told the Daily Mail. “People talk about lions like they are just some African cats, but they have personalities, they have humor and laugh. Zion is a gentle lion. He has never attacked humans, and I trust him completely.”
Find out more about this special friendship, here: