Conservationist Valentin Gruener became an Internet sensation last year when footage of the relationship between him and his lioness cub went viral. The short clip shows the incredible bond between Gruener and the lioness. According to the Daily Mail, he reportedly rescued the lioness as an abandoned cub and has been raising her ever since.
Now, three years later their remarkable bond is still unbroken. Although most would expect a lioness to be a seemingly ferocious animal, it’s obvious the lioness affectionately known as Sirga is more a lover than a fighter. The most memorable part of the clip shows Sirga “hugging” Gruener. The heartwarming moment has gone viral with more than 10 million views on YouTube. The clip isn’t even a full minute long, but its not hard to see just how much the lioness loves her owner!
Now, a new documentary will show the next chapter in their incredible journey. AOL Travel reports that the fascinating six-part film chronicles their relationship and journey together. Gruener starts from the beginning with details about how he rescued Sirga as an abandoned lioness cub on the verge of death. But, this time things are a little bit different. Sirga is now learning to hunt! Even though she’s definitely a lover, it’s still imperative that she learns how to take care of herself. Gruener is now training her to hunt.
Gruener recently shared details about Sirga’s hunting progress. He also recounted the groundbreaking experience that ensured him she’d be just fine alone in the wild.
“She learned to be patient, to stalk and go into ambush,” Gruener explained. “The day she brought down her first antelope was the most amazing day of my life, because I realized that she would one day be able to look after herself in the wild.”
Jurgen Jozefowicz, the producer of the film, also weighed in about Sirga’s development and ongoing progress. “To walk with a lion in the wild, to record a unique friendship and capture the story of a young lioness born into captivity, and her development from naive novice to adult huntress, has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Lionheart is tentatively scheduled for a worldwide wide release later this year.
[Image via YouTube]