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Gay3 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Mar 2015 at 11:50am
18 March 2015 Last updated at 23:57

The lion hugger

By Jason Caffrey BBC World Service
Sirga with Valentin Gruener

In 2012 Valentin Gruener rescued a young lion cub and raised it himself at a wildlife park in Botswana. It was the start of an extraordinary relationship. Now an astonishing scene is repeated each time they meet - the young lion leaps on Gruener and holds him in an affectionate embrace.

"Since the lion arrived, which is three years now, I haven't really left the camp," says Gruener.

"Sometimes for one night I go into the town here to organise something for the business, but other than that I've been here with the lion."

The lion he has devoted himself to is Sirga - a female cub he rescued from a holding pen established by a farmer who was fed up with shooting animals that preyed on his cattle.

"The lions had killed the other two or three cubs inside the cage, and the mother abandoned the remaining cub. She was very tiny, maybe 10 days old," Gruener says.

The farmer, Willy de Graaf, asked Gruener to try to save her and so he took her to a wildlife park financed by de Graaf and became her adoptive mother, "feeding her and taking care of her".

"You have this tiny cute animal sitting there and it's already quite feisty," he says. "It will become about 10 times that size and you will have to deal with it."

She's much bigger now, but when Gruener opens her cage she still rushes to greet him - ecstatically throwing her paws around his neck.

The lion leaps on Valentin Gruener as they meet

"That happens every time I open the door. It is an amazing thing every time it happens, and it's such a passionate thing to do for this animal to jump and give me a hug," says Gruener.

"But I guess it makes sense. At the moment she has no other lions with her in the cage and I guess for her I'm like her species. So I'm the only friend she's got. Lions are social cats so she's always happy to see me."

The companions spend their time hanging out in the Botswana bush, doing the kind of things that cats enjoy, such as lying around under trees, play-fighting, and hunting.

"I don't believe we have to teach the lion to hunt. They have this instinct like a domestic cat or even a dog that will try to hunt. Any cat will catch a bird or a mouse. The lion will catch an antelope when it gets big enough," Gruener says.

"I'm definitely giving her that opportunity to hunt, about three times a week at the moment. Each walk takes five hours - sometimes up to nine. We sort of hunt together and I'm helping her sometimes, trying to show her how to kill something rather than catch it."

After Sirga's first kill Gruener wasn't sure if it would still be safe for him to get close to the lion. But "she let me come in", he says. Now he despatches animals the lioness fails to kill quickly enough.

"It's a bit cruel because she will catch an antelope and hold it down, and when it gets tired she could simply go and bite it in the throat and kill it. But because it's so exciting she's like a cat that keeps on playing with the mouse.

Sirga with Valentin Gruener

"It's not so lovely to watch when a lion has an antelope in front of her and she's having fun playing with this antelope."

Willy de Graaf has handed Gruener 500 hectares (two square miles) to create a "miniature park" in which Sirga can roam freely, but she will not be released into the wild. Not because she could not survive, Gruener says, but because she has lost her fear of humans.

Under those circumstances she is likely to get too close to humans, and if there is an accident she will end up getting shot. "And that's not really the whole point of raising a lion," Gruener says.

In the park Sirga can live like a wild lion, but remain safe, he says. "That's the plan for her future."

And what of his own future? Gruener has put aside work on a PhD while he has been raising Sirga, and has hardly ever left her alone.

"If she gets into a bigger enclosure and gets more space, and maybe another lion to give her companionship, I'm sure I would be able to leave for longer periods of time - which is required for me to finish my studies.

"But as long as she needs me, and as long as I feel I want to be there to make her life better, I will have that as my priority.

"I doubt anything will change much between me and her."



Edited by Gay3 - 20 Mar 2015 at 11:52am
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Browndog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2015 at 11:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2015 at 12:31pm
Deary me, some may need the tissue box handy Wink Thanks BD, wonderful story of love & bonding Thumbs Up
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 11:20am

Charlie aka Bonfire Gold

Maiden win tonight
A very exciting event.
With Luke Nolen aboard

Big thanks and congratulations to Julie Nairn her home bred
And Lisa Enright and Matt Enright

Garry Broughton and all connections

From rescue mare: A Girl On A Swing

 
"Yes , its a good story indeed......however the real lady to thank is also one of Charlie's owners Marilyn and Tony Stokes ...Marilyn was the one who helped rescue Charlie's dam Girl On A Swing from the property where she was starving mixed in with a lot of dead horses .... ....

Marilyn Stokes put a lot of hard work and a couple of years into Girl On A Swing ( also known as Holly ) to get her back in order ...I was just happy to work with Marilyn to give the mare a purpose and a home ...the old mare Holly now is living at my place and has produced some lovely babies including 2 full brothers to Charlie waiting in the wings so to speak ...”

Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote furious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 11:57am
lovely gay

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThreeBears Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2018 at 2:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThreeBears Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 9:30am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 9:38am
I cant find a link but did anyone see the cat in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel ?  The police tried to catch it but it hid out for something like 3 days, and then a maintenence worker managed to catch it.  He took it home and got it up on FB or somewhere , and a lady got him to scan the chip, and it was hers,  It came from Homebush, 19Ks away and only been gone a day or 2.
Thats one life done.  Only 8 left now.
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 10:44am

Vix is feline fine after 20km Sydney Harbour Tunnel trip

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 12:39pm
Thanks for that link Thumbs Up Now we can all judge it on its' merits or otherwise Wink
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 12:52pm
Originally posted by ThreeBears ThreeBears wrote:


https://twitter.com/attenboroughs_d/status/900667488450596864?lang=en
This one's for Macca. Whale the cat.


very good TB..     That would be the only jump whale would get with his personality.











































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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 12:56pm
macca, I think you'd better dispose of that siggy Wink
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 12:58pm
Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

macca, I think you'd better dispose of that siggy Wink


OK      But , Good one aye ..











































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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 1:07pm
Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

Thanks for that link Thumbs Up Now we can all judge it on its' merits or otherwise Wink


Yes, thanks PT.  At least I wont get told off for not posting my source , since you have kindly supplied it for me WinkThumbs Up
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 1:19pm
Big smileLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 1:33pm
You have already sinned acacia, wait for the wrath of our resident justice to chastise you LOL LOL LOL
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 1:39pm
Originally posted by acacia alba acacia alba wrote:

Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

Thanks for that link Thumbs Up Now we can all judge it on its' merits or otherwise Wink


Yes, thanks PT.  At least I wont get told off for not posting my source , since you have kindly supplied it for me WinkThumbs Up


   SAUCE     AA....        Drive our spellchecker madder.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 1:46pm
For Macca


     LET PEACE REIGN
What does that mean ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 2:05pm
Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

For Macca




   BEAUTIFUL    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 3:53pm
Even had me remove my EGO / IQ joke .

I just couldn't embarrass one so gentle any longer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 4:01pm
Embarrassed, not really. I know you keep an exercise book full of joking, humorous sayings  you have heard , or looked up on the internet, a quip for every occasion is Macca.
And I think chihuahuas are horrible rat like little things, can you even call them a dog ?
     LET PEACE REIGN
What does that mean ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 4:06pm
Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

Embarrassed, not really. I know you keep an exercise book full of joking, humorous sayings  you have heard , or looked up on the internet, a quip for every occasion is Macca.
And I think chihuahuas are horrible rat like little things, can you even call them a dog ?


You underestimate the Chihuahua Whale .
     Mine killed a German Shepherd once .

           It Choked.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 4:18pm
The old frog and the scorpion tale, fair dinkum I knew it wasn't far off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 3:56pm

Dog caught riding neighbour's one-eyed pony in the middle of the night

/www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/dog-caught-riding-neighbours-one-eyed-pony-in-the-middle-of-the-night/ar-BBITo7R

take your mind of barnaby and america ptLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 4:11pm
Did he use a step ladder to get up there Isaac?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 4:23pm
Neighbours' Corgi on her mini pony, caught in her headlights & filmed! Funny little pair & the dog stayed put even when pony trotted LOL

A-ha, it's on Y/tube Smile


Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 5:42pm
no doubt about it pt you are across everythingLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 5:50pm
I saw that this morning on tv in some channel's regular cute animal video segment, and they said the owner followed  the corgi and found him up on top of the pony riding it around in the dark 

I am no expert on corgis or how high they can jump, but from what I can see of them they struggle to keep their tackle off the ground with those stumpy little legs, ket alone launching like a cat up there

I called #fakenews on it 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 6:25pm
fakenews?! regardless of whether  the dog had help to be on the back the look on its face was certainly worried, like "get me off this horse"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VSP. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 10:56pm
www.snowshoecats.webs.com
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