How Sirga gives Gruener a very big hug
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Valentin Gruener with Sirga the lion

In 2012 Valentin Gruener rescued a young lion cub and raised it himself at a wildlife park in Botswana. It was the start of an extraordinary relationship. Now an astonishing scene is repeated each time they meet - the young lion leaps on Gruener and holds him in an affectionate embrace.

"Since the lion arrived, which is three years now, I haven't really left the camp," says Gruener.

"Sometimes for one night I go into the town here to organise something for the business, but other than that I've been here with the lion."

The lion he has devoted himself to is Sirga - a female cub he rescued from a holding pen established by a farmer who was fed up with shooting animals that preyed on his cattle.

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