TikTok has made a compilation video showing the huge creature hugging Valentin Gruener, her caretaker. It has been viewed almost 195,000 times.
Gruener, co-founder of Modisa Wildlife Project, central Botswana. He found Sirga just a few days ago, he said to NBC News via a video message app.
Sirga’s parents were captured for preying on livestock. Their cubs were born at the rehabilitation camp, where they were being held.
Gruener stated that Sirga’s siblings were killed by other lions because their mother was unable to move them away from the pride like she would in natural.
Sirga survived, he claimed, but her mother refused her food.
He said that Sirga was named after “L’enfant Lion”, a 1993 French film.
He said that she lives in a fenced reserve near her home.
“Sirga is an amazing cat. He said that Sirga always hugged him when he visited her. She is a very gentle and friendly lion.
The reaction of users to the video posted on TikTok was mostly positive
@dylanglover_ wrote, “I want to a lion so badly.”
“I am so envious. “Thank you for the glimpses into what it would feel like to work in a reserve,” said another @livingthequeenlife.
Gruener stated that Sirga’s popularity on social media had allowed him to shine a light on his work as well as wildlife conservation in general.
He said, “We do a lot Q and A videos and let people leave comments to answer any questions they might have about the life.” In some ways Sirga is an ambassador for nature conservation and wild lions.
He said that lions, despite their strength, are not dangerous as long as one is able to manage around them.
He said, “A lion does not want to kill anybody.” They are predictable and, in fact, quite harmless to us.