Watch as a rescued lion shares the love with her human rescuer
NBC News - Yikes! In a video that's recently gone viral, a man is shown unlocking a gate, on the other side of which paces a very excited lion. When he opens it, she leaps on him!
But don't avert your eyes — this isn't a mauling. This is a big hug of love.
What you're watching is Valentin Gruener getting a 110-pound "thanks!" from Sirga the lioness, who he helped raise from cubhood after her pack turned her away.
She currently lives at Gruener's Modisa Wildlife Project, which is based in Botswana, Africa.
If Sirga's affectionate reaction jars your memory a bit, you might be recalling Christian the lion, whose story went viral in 2009 when a video of his emotional reunion with his human "parents" surfaced.
Christian's story dates to the 1960s, but it was a clip from the end of a documentary about their story that revived the tale on YouTube and showed us all that lions are a little like elephants — they never forget.
Be sure to watch this amazing clip from 2009, when the Australians who helped Christian visited TODAY!