Touching: the lion hugs her rescuers

In Africa’s heart, near Botswana, lives a lioness known by name by most of the world. Sirga, named by her rescuers, was abandoned by her mother shortly after her birth. She would have perished for sure without Valentin Gruener and Mikkel Legarth.


Photo: Nicolai Fredrik Bonnen Rossen

The two scientists have bee working in Botswana for years to save the endangered lions, or at least make their lives easier. No wonder they didn’t have the heart to leave the abandoned cub to her fate. They started to raise her, and, during the following years, a special, close friendship has formed between them and the lioness. The following video depicts their everyday moments.

The biologists revealed that they never wanted Sirga to become the sort of lion one meets in zoos. Instead, they wanted her to be able to take care of herself one day; to assure this, they never let Sirga meet another human except for the two of them. Sirga is an adult by now. She hunts all by herself, and sometimes disappears for months in a row.

She didn’t entirely give up contact with her human pride; to prove that, she returns from time to time to them. But, according to her rescuers, soon she will be able to start her own pride.


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