Frikkie Von Solms has spent his whole life taking care of wild cats in South Africa, and at least 11 of those years taking care of Zion.
During those years, the pair have formed a strong friendship, becoming the best of friends!
Zion is a gentle, tender loving African lion who was born in captivity but was separated when his father threatened his life.
He, therefore, needed someone to be there for him, as a parental figure, and this is where Von Solms stepped up.
Since he was born in captivity, he was unable to be released back into the wild, so Von Solms adopted him as a newborn cub.
In his new caretaker’s protection, he turned into a little softie, a gentle giant, as he was surrounded by love and safety.
In fact, Zion is so mild-mannered that he is bothered by the sound of shoes walking on the ground.
Therefore, out of respect and love for Zion, Von Solms always takes his shoes off before taking his big cat pal out for a walk.
Check out the full story in the video below:
Lion Cuddles – Zion And Von Solms Form An Incredible Friendship
“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.”