An extraordinary moment was caught on video when a pair of lionesses bestowed a huge welcome upon the woman who raised them as cubs.
Standing on their hind legs behind the fence of the park, they affectionately wrapped their huge paws around her neck in elation, making excited “lioness noises.” They buried their faces in her hair as they lavished her with their boundless love.
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Prajeme všetko najlepšie našej dnešnej oslávenkyni A d e l k e 🎈🎈🎈 o 14:00 jej zablahoželáme k jej štvrtým narodeninám…
Michaela Zimanova, known as the cubs’ beloved “godmother,” went to see Malkia and Adelle, two lionesses that are respectively 3 and 4 years old.
Michaela normally visits them at Malkia Park in Slovakia about thrice a month—but this time she did not expect such an enthusiastic welcome.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, the pair are seen bounding up to the fence of their enclosure upon spotting Michaela. Their utter joy upon seeing the familiar face is as clear as daylight.
“Hello darlings,” Michaela tells them in Slovak, as heard in the video.
No sooner does she arrive is she locked in an enviable group embrace.
She is one of three persons allowed to have contact with the lionesses.
Sadly, Malkia and Adelle’s parents were captive lions used in circuses. Apparently, their mother refused to take care of them as cubs.
Afterward, the orphaned cubs were taken to The Big Cats Rescue Centre in Slovakia, where they spent the first year of their lives.
Given that Michaela has hand-reared the pair at the park, it’s only natural that they would view her as a special someone who shares a close bond with them.
In light of the video showing the group hug, a spokesman at the park clarified that “We never play with them as they are dangerous animals, we respect their mood, and only cuddle when they want.”
So, would you like to watch that big group hug now?
Check out the video: