Lioness Hugs Man

Lioness Hugs Man

Did one guy take his life in his hands?

A huge lioness behind a wire fence paced back and forth as an unfazed man worked to open the gate. The gate opened and pounce went the lioness. She didn’t attack him. Instead she gave him a loving embrace.

The object of the lioness' affection is Valentin Gruener who runs a wildlife preserve in Botswana. He raised the lioness named Sirga from a cub and clearly created a close bond with her

But animal expert Jeff Corwin, host of ABC's Ocean Mysteries, says the reunion could have turned deadly in an instant.

Corwin told INSIDE EDITION, "It is always cool to see humans connecting with nature. You can't forget that this is one of most powerful predators on the planet and that same behavior of affection could be deadly behavior. When you are hugging a lion like that, you are vulnerable."

Lions in close proximity to humans is fraught with risk. Even one model was attacked by a lion during a photo shoot.

In another case, a lion yawned as if it was bored. A second later it attacked two trainers.

But, fortunately, in this case luckily all the lioness wanted was a hug.