Even though we consider lions and other wild animals as dangerous, this story shows that it isn’t always the case. Meet 69-year-old Frikkie Von Solms, a lion caretaker who lives in Southern Africa and a man who probably knows more about lions and their behaviour than anyone else in the world because for the past 11 years he has raised Zion, a warmhearted and gentle African lion.
Zion was born in captivity but was quickly separated from his mother and father after fears that his father would kill him. It was at this point that Von Solms stepped in to raise Zion and since then the pair have been inseparable.
“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 lion,” Von Solms told the Daily Mail. “People talk about lions like they are just lions but they have personalities, they have humour and laugh. Zion is a gentle giant. He has never attacked humans and I trust him completely.”
Zion was separated from his mother and father at birth.
Frikkie Von Solms who was already an experienced lion caretaker stepped in to raise Zion as one of his own.
Since then Zion has turned pretty soft, so much so that he prefers it if Von Solms takes his shoes off when they walk together because he doesn’t like the noise.
Overtime they have become best friends.
“Zion is a gentle giant. He has never attacked humans and I trust him completely”
The duo are so close that they share even share a bed together.
Zion is not the only lion that Von Solms has raised. Out of the 19 others he says that Zion “is special because of the bond we share. I learned so much from him”
Although lions are normally dangerous wild animals, Zion and Von Solms prove it isn’t always the case.