11 Years Of Friendship Between A Lion And The Human That Saved Him

The bond between humans and animals is special, and it can sometimes lead to unexpected friendships that last for years. One such example is the story of a lion rescued and befriended by humans, forming a close relationship lasting for 11 years.

It would be best to be careful around lions and other wild animals, but that doesn’t mean they are unfeeling, cold-blooded ᴋɪʟʟᴇʀs. Frikkie Von Solms, a 69-year-old caretaker of feral cats in Southern Africa, knows this perfectly well: he has spent the last 11 raising Zion, a gentle, tender, and loving African lion.

Zion was born in captivity to a lioness named Simba but had to be separated due to fears that his father would ᴋɪʟʟ him. Growing up with Von Solms, Zion has turned into a little softie, and when Von Solms goes for a walk with him, he takes his shoes off because their noise bothers the big cat.

“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 African cats, but they have personalities, humor, and laughter. Zion is a gentle pet lion. He has never ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋᴇᴅ humans, and I trust him completely.”

He has spent all 11 years growing up with Frikkie, the caretaker.

The two are so close that they share a truck and a bed

Frikkie says he has raised 19 lions, tigers, and cheetahs but says Zion “is special because of our bond. I learned so much from him.”

Sometimes, Frikkie even holds Zion’s tail affectionately

Lions can be ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs, but Frikkie and Zion prove this is not always true.

It’s important to note that not all lions are friendly or safe to be around. It takes a great deal of experience and knowledge to form a close bond with a lion, and it should only be attempted with the guidance of trained professionals.

Their story is a powerful reminder of the importance of animal welfare and the incredible bond that can form between humans and animals. It also highlights the amazing impact a dedicated group of individuals can have when they come together to make a difference. Frikkie and Zion’s story has touched people’s hearts worldwide. It is a testament to the power of compassion, dedication, and friendship.

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