Sun, September 19, 2010
Lifestyle > Society

Lion cub makes new best friend

2010-09-19 03:01:43 GMT2010-09-19 11:01:43 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

The unlikely duo became inseparable after they met when Zinzi was just one day old and have remained firm friends ever since

Tiny meerkat Bob is the pet of zoo and safari ranch owner Marcell Tournier, 33

The unlikely duo became inseparable after they met when Zinzi was just one day old and have remained firm friends ever since

Meerkats can be very aggressive but two-year-old Bob is laid-back and is something of a celebrity at Predator World Zoo and Game Farm

Bob the meerkat makes a break for it from beneath a blanket as Zinzi the lion cub looks on

It could be straight out of Disney hit The Lion King but this lion cub and meerkat cuddling up to each other is real. Meet the real-life Simba and Timon.

The loveable duo have been best chums since new-born lioness Zinzi was rescued by being taken into the home of zoo and safari ranch owner Marcell Tournier, 33, after its mother rejected her.

Just like cartoon character Simba - the lion cub hero of Disney classic The Lion King - young Zinzi was also separated from her family and incredibly formed and bond with a wandering meerkat.

In another incredible real-life parallel, meerkat Bob acts like the movie character Timon as a drifter. The cheeky critter only comes to Marcell's when he feels like it and enjoys free meals.

Pictures show 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.

And there's nothing they like better than lion around together in South Africa's summer heat.

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