Heartwarming Bond: Lioness Embraces Rescuers, Forming Unlikely Friendship in Incredible Photos of Abandoned Big Cat

The lioness who hugs hoodies: Amazing pictures of abandoned big cat and her heartwarming bond with men who saved her

This is enough to warm even the wildest of hearts.

Now the 110lb lioness has developed an incredible bond with the pair who are fighting to save her species in Botswana, southern Africa.

German conservationist Valentin Gruener and Sirga showing the incredible bond between man and beast

Heart-warming: Mikkel Legarth giving the lioness Sirga a hug in the wilds of Botswana

Mr Legarth (nearest camera) and Mr Gruener enjoying the evening sunset with Sirga

Sirga when she was a lioness cub playing with Mr Legarth after she was rescued

Sirga treats the two men just like she would other lions and with their help she can now hunt for prey on her own

He said: ‘A pride had three cubs and two were killed before Sirga was abandoned without food. It happened on our land and we could not standby and watch her die.

Mr Legarth, 30, said his bond with Sirga was just like as if she was part of his pride

The pair’s work has been documented by photographer Nicolai Frederik Bonnin Rossen who himself got up-close-and-personal with the magnificent predators

Saved: As a cub Sirga was driven out from a pride and rescued by the German and Danish duo

Touching: Mr Legarth playing with Sirga the lioness as the sun goes down in the bush

‘Sirga doesn’t mind people, but she doesn’t pay them any attention. Wild lions are scared of people, the problem comes if you release a lion that is used to people in the wild, that can cause problems.

Mr Legarth said: ‘The first time you walk up to a lion all your body is telling you this is not something you should be doing’

Close: The amazing pictures show Sirga – a 110lb lioness – cuddling her new found friends

The Modisa Wildlife Project aims at removing lions from areas where they face certain death after coming into conflict with farmers

Mr Legarth added: ‘If you release wild lions somewhere else, they will come straight back to where they were before because there is food there.

The pair with some of the lions from the project in Botswana, southern Africa

Sirga – a 110lb lioness – and her adopted pride Valentin Gruener and Mikkel Legarth

Sia

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