When faced with a lioness clawing at its flimsy cage, most of us would do a runner. But Valentin Gruener calmly approaches the cage - and lets the beast run wild.

As he begins to unlock the door, Sirga starts pacing up and down and as soon he opens the enclosure, the big cat springs out and pounces on him.

Fortunately, she's just after a big hug and Mr Gruener greets the lioness with a pleasant 'good morning' before rubbing noses with it.

Mr Gruener founded the wildlife project with Mikkel Legarth from Germany after they met while volunteering at a nature reserve in 2009.

The project conserves and protects big cat habitats in partnership with Grassland Safari Lodge.

Mr Gruener said: 'Grassland started their conservation work by capturing lions and other big cats in conflict with farmers to spare them from certain death.'

Modisa Wildlife Park also conducts research monitoring the Kalahari eco-system which includes bird and game counts and plant inventories.

Mr Hawkins has been travelling the world since 2008 after setting foot in the Dominican Republic.

Last year he travelled through Africa. He said: 'Travelling through Africa is a very humbling experience that makes you realize how amazing this planet truly is.'


Responses to "Excited lion jumps into arms of man who raised her (VIDEO)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sweetness thing I've seen in a while

  2. Anonymous says:

    What loving sight :)

  3. Connie says:

    So beautiful such love between man & big cat. I wish that was me cuddling her so gorgeous! <3 <3 <3

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful sight! I watched the video three times in a row. Had a big smile on my face.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It's great to know there are SOME good people in this world. The majority are not.

  6. bmfilip says:

    That is so sweet. .. beautiful.

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