It goes without saying that you should be careful around lions and other wild animals, but that doesn’t mean that they are un-feeling, cold-blooded killers. Frikkie Von Solms, a 69-year-old caretaker of wild 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 kill 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 they are just some African cats, but they have personalities, they have humor and laugh. Zion is a gentle pet lion. He has never attacked humans, and I trust him completely.”