In 2012 Valentin Gruener rescued a young lion cub and raised it himself at a wildlife park in Botswana. It was the start of an extraordinary relationship.
Now an astonishing scene is repeated each time they meet – the young lion leaps on Gruener and holds him in an affectionate embrace.
“Since the lion arrived, which is three years now, I haven’t really left the camp,” says Gruener.
“Sometimes for one night I go into the town here to organise something for the business, but other than that I’ve been here with the lion.”
The lion he has devoted himself to is Sirga – a female cub he rescued from a holding pen established by a farmer who was fed up with shooting animals that preyed on his cattle.
Read more (and video)… BBC News – The lion hugger.