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Lion Hugs: Expressions of Love from The King of the Jungle

Updated on May 14, 2015

Hugging Lions

When we think about nature, we often put animals into two categories: the cute & cuddly, and the fierce & dangerous. The fierce & dangerous can be a beautiful creature, but one you can hug? Rarely.

Rarely, do we consider that those fierce and dangerous have feelings. They have emotions, and the ability to love. Though they usually keep that love for their own kind, sometimes, when an animal grows close to humans - so close it accepts them as family - they hug. They hug and they kiss, and you can instantly see the love and friendship shared between the two.

Here you will find several such situations. Lions hugging - showing true love and caring for a human.

By the way, I don't know the story behind the zebra hug photo shown here. It seems to be roaming internet forums with words over it. I actually suspect it is not a hug at all, but a lucky freeze frame of an attack - but, hey, it caught your attention.

Kevin Richardson Hugging His Lions - Lions in South Africa

Kevin Richardson, an animal behaviorist, owns a private reserve near Johannesburg South Africa, where over 30 lions reside.

Watch Kevin swim with a lioness.

Meet the lions

Christian The Lion

In 1969, John Rendall and Ace Berg purchased a small lion in a cramped cage in London and named him Christian. They exercised him on the grounds of a local church, and as he became larger, they prepared to re-introduce him into the wild in Africa. They did bring him to Africa, and one year later, the two men went back for a visit. This was their reunion:

A Lion Called Christian: - The True Story of the Remarkable Bond between Two Friends and a Lion

This book was originally published in 1971, so it tells the story as if it were recent and without the decades of age and hindsight added.

It is a lovely and heartwarming story of Christian the Lion and features over 50 photos. Through the book, Christian grows from being a cub to a magnificent lion, and he travels

More About Christian the Lion

Learn more about this extraordinary lion:

Interviews with John Rendall and Ace Berg

The Australian interview is pretty good. The interview on The Today Show with Meredith Viera is not so great. Meridith asks how they feel about the video becoming an internet phenomenon. They say it is humbling, and then she asks, "What do you mean when you say it is humbling?". Uh, duh. Meridith, here is the definition of humble.

King of the Jungle Hugs & Kisses His Rescuer! - Cali, Colombia

Ana Julia Torres gets a hug from Jupiter, a lion she rescued from a life of malnourishment and abuse in a traveling circus.

Secondhand Lions - Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Kyra Sedgwick

Haley Joel Osment's character, in Secondhand Lions, befriends a lion that his offbeat uncles purchased in order to hunt.

Secondhand Lions

This story has that classic blend of kitschy sentimentalism mixed with implausible action that makes for a sappy yet satisfying film. It's one of those movies you can't believe you enjoyed. Haley Joel Osment plays Walter, a 14 year old boy, in his most awkward years who is trying to grow up while still starving for love from family. His mother (Kyra Sedgwick) drops him with two totally eccentric and outrageous uncles who are living an old life of adventure in their heads, and a life of old age in reality.

This is the kind of movie you can watch with your family and everyone will enjoy different parts. It's a great film that I would highly recommend.

Another Hug from Christian

Zamba: The True Story of the Greatest Lion That Ever Lived

Zamba: The True Story of the Greatest Lion That Ever Lived
Zamba: The True Story of the Greatest Lion That Ever Lived

When Ralph Helfer, now one of Hollywood's top animal behaviorists, first began working, he was shocked by the cruelty that was accepted practice in the field. He firmly believed in "affection training" -- that love, not fear, should be the basis of any animal's development, even when dealing with the most dangerous of creatures. Then Zamba came into his life -- an adorable four-month-old lion cub that went on to prove Helfer's theories resoundingly correct.

 

Befriending Lions

One More Lion Hug

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    • SeriousWanderlust profile image

      SeriousWanderlust 4 years ago

      This is great!! I absolutely LOVE lions!! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      sherioz 4 years ago

      This is incredible. The lion is my favourite animal and these stories are wonderful.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      I really enjoyed this lion lens kab! The story about Christian the lion was truly moving. Thanks for sharing.

    • potovanja profile image

      potovanja 4 years ago

      I love your lens very much. The third of my like i give to your lens:). Thank you 4 visit my...

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Ah, who doesn't love a hug I ask? And especially from such an affectionate big cat.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      A great big lion hug for you. {{{Hugs}}}.

    • profile image

      animalsafari 4 years ago

      Beautiful lions with their beautiful hugging moments. I love lions specially when you go on a safari. Cool lion hugging lens

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I definitely love seeing hugging lions - so beautiful. :)

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

      RazzbarryBreeze 5 years ago

      I have seen the videos before now of Christian The Lion, and stll it warms my heart when I watch them. This is a wonderful lens. Have a nice day!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very interesting lens...awesome

    • profile image

      ernad18 5 years ago

      nice lens

    • SophiaStar LM profile image

      SophiaStar LM 5 years ago

      The lion has long been one of my favorite animals. Animals are truly amazing and capable of more than what we think.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Thank you for making this beautiful lens. Animals are truly amazing. Sometimes they show us what's possible.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I would love to hug one.

    • JaySamson1 profile image

      JaySamson1 5 years ago

      Ah that's so awesome. Now I wish I had a pet lion! They look like very loyal animals. Great lens!

    • Shana rios Chavez profile image

      Shana rios Chavez 5 years ago

      i loved this lens i have a big cats page id love for you to visit if you have time!!

    • hughgrissettsr lm profile image

      hughgrissettsr lm 5 years ago

      great lens!

    • Nimsrules LM profile image

      Nirmal Shah 5 years ago from India

      A superb lens !

    • profile image

      nursecraft 5 years ago

      Much enjoyed!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Christian the Lion story is so inspiring...

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      These videos are so touching! I actually shed a tear...

    • ernieplotter profile image

      ernieplotter 5 years ago

      Beautiful animals on a great lens!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      I love cats. Big ones, little ones, scary ones! And love this lens.

    • Eddie20112011 profile image

      Eddie20112011 5 years ago

      cool lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow, this was neat to see tonight, well done on this ... *blessed*

    • vividviolet profile image

      vividviolet 5 years ago

      wow!!!!!!! (maybe the lion actually did want to hug the zebra)

    • TheFalconPress profile image

      The Falcon Press 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      I just love the story of Christian the lion. All these videos of hugging lions are wonderful. Thanks for sharing this very entertaining lens!

    • nephthys lm profile image

      nephthys lm 5 years ago

      The picture gives a different message to the lens, as we all know the lion isn't sharing a happy friendship with the zebra... not happy for the zebra anyway.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A good read. Only thing i disliked is mentioning Bigcat rescue here... there are so many good sanctuaries for these animals (bigcat.org, wildcatsanctuary.org to mention some you might concider dontating to if you really want to help), and BCR is definitely not one of them. Here´s what people that responibly keep lions and other creatures think about BCR:

      http://www.rexano.org/BCR.htm

    • profile image

      Amor77 5 years ago

      perfect lens,i love it

    • SquidooMBA profile image

      SquidooMBA 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens. Lots of lion hugs for you!

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 5 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      I love this. I'm a big fan of the big cats. I saw this lens on the home page. Congrats!

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      I'm speechless.

    • JK Sterling profile image

      Jim Sterling 5 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      What a great story, thank you.

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 5 years ago from Benson, IL

      Nice to see another Big Cat lover around here. I loved that video of Christian the lion. :)

    • profile image

      sse-im 5 years ago

      Sweet

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I love stories about humans and animals! They really do know us!!! :) Blessed!

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Love picture of the zebra and lion hugging... great capture!

    • Akitajitsu profile image

      Jen 5 years ago from California

      Christian's story always makes me misty-eyed. Such a wonderful story!

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I've heard about this particular lion, it's amazing how even years after no contact, he was still able to remember his original family. Hasn't he died since that video was filmed?

    • Shorebirdie profile image

      Shorebirdie 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Have you read or seen any interviews/stories about or by George Adamson? Of course, he's the one who helped release Christian into the wild. He was the ultimate Lion Man.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      Such beautiful and majestic creatures I have always adored paintings and photography of lions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent Lens, Love it

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      @pcgamehardware: LOL - True!

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

      RazzbarryBreeze 5 years ago

      I've seen the video of Christian the lion before now... Truly is a wonderful video... It's emotional and quite amazing if I can say. Beautiful lens...Thank you .

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 5 years ago from Texas

      I;m lovin' all the lion love here. I understand that relationship with a wild animal better after having raised an orphaned deer. She became just like family to me.

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 6 years ago

      Very nice lens. Blessed.

    • pcgamehardware profile image

      pcgamehardware 6 years ago

      Cool lens, Lion hugs are great...as long as you don't smell like a Antelope... :)

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      oh boy i do love that show. lovely lens! cheers

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 6 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      The story of Christian the Lion really moved me, and I each time I watch the YouTube clip I can't stop the tears rolling down my face as It's such a beautiful and amazing story and a happy one too that 'true love really knows no boundaries' and true friendship will last forever! I also cry because I found it sad that no-one seems to know what happened to beautiful Christian and that they presume he lived a happy and long life with his own pride! and I hope that that is true.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      The story of Christian the Lion is amazing and really moved me when I first saw the video..

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