A lion cub who was rejected by its mother has stuck up a friendship with a meerkat. Bob, the meerkat, and Zinzi, the lion cub, have been inseparable since Zinzi was rescued by zoo and safari ranch owner Marcell Tournier.
The friendship echoes the partnership between Simba, the lion cub hero of Disney classic ‘The Lion King’, and Timon.
The gallery above shows how the pair were inseparable from the beginning and are still good pals today – despite rapidly-growing Zinzi, now six months old, now vastly out-sizing her cheeky chum.
The pair live on the sprawling Predator World Zoo and Game Farm, which covers 1,000 hectares in the country’s north-west.
Zinzi was brought in at just one day old when Marcell realised her mother was refusing to feed her a harsh reality of nature that could have meant the end of adorable Zinzi.
“Bob seems to have a “Hakuna Matata” problem-free philosophy”, says Mr Tournier, “and taught Zinzi how to relax.”
Amazingly Bob began following his much bigger friend day and night and would even snuggle in at nap time.
But almost as soon as the lion had moved in to the home, near Sun City, South Africa, Mr Tournier quickly realised he wasn’t Zinzi’s only fan.
Bob likes having anything cute and cuddly around,” said Mr Tournier. “If it’ll lie down and cuddle him he will love it. The pair quickly formed an unlikely friendship and were soon doing everything together.”
The pair live on the sprawling Predator World Zoo and Game Farm, which covers 1,000 hectares in the country’s north-west. It is home to over 36 species of animal including leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, snakes and birds.