Rescued lion hugs man who saved her

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BOTSWANA — An excited lion pacing on the other side of a fence lunged at the man who opened the gate in what looks like a scary situation. But instead of mauling him, she jumps into his arms to give him a bear hug.

John Hawkins documents his world travels with videos on his YouTube channel J Hawks. He happened to have his camera on hand when Valentin Gruener went to visit a lion he rescued as a cub a long time ago. Gruener helped raise the lion when she was little after her lion pack rejected her, according to Yahoo.

The lion is currently residing in the Modisa Wildlife Project in Botswana and is separated from humans by a chain link fence. As Gruener approached the gate, the 110-pound lion started pacing back and forth and tried to open the gate with her paws.

It looks like she wants to maul Gruener at first because as soon as he gets the padlock open, she races toward him. But instead, she attacks him with just love, gives him a huge bear hug and lays her head on his shoulder. Gruener eventually has to sink to the ground because of her weight, and she curls up right next to him as if she were a 10-pound house cat.

The sweet (and somewhat terrifying) video has gone viral, racking up over 3.3 million page views.

Another lion video went viral in August when a little lion cub sneaked up on an unsuspecting dog at an animal training farm and scared him.

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Tracie Snowder


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