Friendship comes to all shapes and sizes and this man’s story surely proves it! Zion, is a beautiful male lion and he was just days old when he was separated from his mother, only to fall into the hands of his guardian angel Frikkie Von Solms. Click through this slideshow to see how a man and a lion formed a exceptionally strong bond that could last for ever!
Meet Zion! A kind 11-year-old African Lion that has a very heartwarming and interesting story to tell. Zion’s first days were tough but this 69-year-old man stepped in and saved the day. Click next to see how their special relationship formed!
19. A CUTE CUB
Zion was born in captivity, in a Zoo by a lioness that was named Simba, after the famous Disney movie. The kee[ers of the Zoo were afraid that Zion’s father would try to kill him and decided to relocate his. Little did he know that this would make him meet his guardian angel!
18. FRIKKIE VON SOLMS
Frikkie Von Solms was one of the Zookeepers that insisted on relocating Zion. After he was relocated, Frikkie was spending more and more time with him, ultimately forming a very special bond with the lion!
17. CALM AND GENTLE
Frikkie described Zion as a very calm and gentle giant. Even as a cub, one could see the potential that this young animal had! Frikkie started spending much more time with the cub and decided to make the best for it to grow up healthy.
16. NEEDED SOMEONE
After being separated from his mother, Zion needed someone to help him adapt to the Zoo’s environment. Even though lions are widely considered as quite strong and durable they tend to be really week in the first weeks of their lives.
15. A GREAT CARETAKER
Frikkie did everything to help Zion recover from his abrupt separation from his mother. He wanted to make sure that this wouldn’t leave him with any serious trauma. He was capable of doing everything for him.
14. WALKING BEARFOOT
And he proves it everyday! Zion seemed to be afraid of the sound that shoes make when they clomp against the ground so Frikkie without hesitation took off his shoes and was always walking barefoot next to Zion.
13. ZION WAS GROWING UP
As the years were passing, it was obvious that these two were officially best friends! Zion was growing, and growing and each year Frikkie was amazing and emotional to see her grow from a cub to a full size African lion!
12. HUNTING TOGETHER
Our duo also go hunting together! Even though admittedly they’ve never caught anything, Frikkie usually simulates the experience of a real life hunt for her. Their “hunt” sessions usually end with hugs and kisses!
11. OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY
Frikkie made sure that Zion wasn’t only socializing with him. Soon, after he made sure that Zion was ready, he let him meet other animals of the Zoo, like leopards and cheetahs that Frikkie also takes care of.
10. A TRUE PROFESSIONAL
Frikkie is a professional caretaker of mostly wild cats like cheetahs, tiger, leopards and of course… lions. In his career as a Zookeeper he had successfully raised and cared 19 wild cats! But Zion was something special.
9. LESSONS LEARNED
Frikkie also admits that Zion has inspired him in many different ways. The two of them was spending so much time with each other that Frikkie literally considered him a member of his family. “is special because of the bond we share. I learned so much from him.”
8. HOLDS HIS TAIL
The two of them usually enjoy taking long walks in the Zoo and Frikkie seems to really enjoy holding onto Zion’s tail. He must feel like he’s taking his pup for a walk!
7. RIDES WITH THE TRUCK
Frikkie also lets Zion board into his Truck and tours her around the Zoo, always making sure that he won’t do anything bad to the visitors. Zion seems to understand and to be honest, he wouldn’t harm anyone ever.
6. SHARED THE SAME BED
Frikkie also admitted that he trusts Zion so much that he has spent some nights sleeping alongside of him in his truck. This shows that he’s 100% sure that Zion will never harm him.
5. HE’S LUCKY
As Frikkie admits lions have a brutal reputation and people tend to fear them a lot. He knows that Zion is an exception and he said that he knows that he’s extremely lucky to have developed that bond with him!.
4. HE trusts HIM COMPLETELY
“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.”
3. NOT A PET FOR EVERYONE
Lions are indeed dangerous and if they haven’t been raised with the presence of a human like Zion has been they can be potentially dangerous for humans. They’re not a pet for everyone!
2. GROWING OLD TOGETHER
11 years have passed from the day that Frikkie fell in love with Zion. Many things have changed but Frikkie was always finding time to visit and spend time with Zion. Even if it was only for lunch.
1. HOPES FOR THE BEST
We’re sure that Zion and Frikkie continue to enjoy each other’s company and making happy memories. It’s obvious that they’ve helped each other a lot for all these years. Friendship can take any shape and color after all!