Lions are great. The majestic African cats roam the plains in search of food. They can hunt with incredible power and disturbing accuracy. They are fiercely loyal. The pride always sticks together. But, they are also incredibly loving. These photos captured in the Masai Mara show a daddy lion giving his cub a hug, in a scene that looks straight out of a Lion King movie!
The Masai Mara National Park is in Kenya, Africa. It is a huge national park where hundreds of protected species can roam freely. However, the park often funds itself with safaris and tourism. 53-year-old Parisian Sabine Bernert was on safari when she caught the iconic shots. Sabine was researching lions for a children’s book about them, and it is clear that they are nothing more than bigger versions of our usual house cats. You can clearly see where the inspiration for the Lion King film came from!
Sabine loved the special moment she witnessed. “The lion pretended he hadn’t seen the cubs until the last second,” she said. “Then they started to play joyfully. I especially love the moment when the male lion is hugging the cub softly. The contrast between his brute strength and his gentleness, the huge size of his paw very softly holding the little cub.
“I was amazed by the way this huge lion was playing so gently with the cubs… They really looked like they were enjoying themselves and having fun. With the delicate light of the sunrise, it was a pure moment of grace.”
We hope these beautiful moments are portrayed in Sabine’s book! Let us know what you think about this loving moment captured on camera in the comments. Share with any of your lion-loving friends and family. You can also check out similar stories on Happiest, like this one about a lion, a tiger, and a bear who are inseparable friends.