Sirga the lioness embraces conservationist Valentin Gruener. Photo / Still from YouTube video
Sirga the lioness embraces conservationist Valentin Gruener. Photo / Still from YouTube video

Video of lioness hugging man who raised her goes viral

A VIDEO of a lioness affectionately embracing the man who raised her from birth at a reserve in Botswana has gone viral.  

The clip shows conservationist Valentin Gruener opening the gate to a clawing and pacing Sirga the lioness, which then pounces on him for a hug.  

Mr Gruener is heard saying "good morning" before the two rub noses.  

While the video was posted in August, it recently began to gain traction, and has now been watched nearly 8.3 million times. 

Traveller John Hawkins shot the video at Modisa Wildlife Project near Maun, Botswana, the Daily Mail reported.  

Mr Hawkins said Mr Gruener, who co-founded the wildlife project, raised Sirga almost from birth.  

"Grassland started their conservation work by capturing lions and other big cats in conflict with farmers to spare them from certain death," Mr Gruener told the Daily Mail in August.  



Search for missing Queensland swimmer suspended

Search for missing Queensland swimmer suspended

Emergency services have not been able to find the missing swimmer

Coffs Tri almost at capacity

Coffs Tri almost at capacity

Flood of last minute entries expected over the next few days.

Assorted sporting stars swing by Bonville Golf Resort

Assorted sporting stars swing by Bonville Golf Resort

Deputy Premier tees off with stars on eve of big Bonville event

Local Partners