Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm not lion to you... they're best friends...

The meerkat and the weird cat: Lion cub makes an unlikely new best friend

Last updated at 4:57 PM on 17th September 2010
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.
Enlarge Cuddles: Zinzi and Bob enjoy nothing more than cuddling up together after a hard day of play on the farm. At 3-months-old, Zinzi dwarfs tiny Bob but takes good care of him, offering a protective embrace whilst they snooze
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.
Friends in small places: Tiny meerkat Bob is the pet of zoo and safari ranch owner Marcell Tournier, 33
Friends in small places: Tiny meerkat Bob is the pet of zoo and safari ranch owner Marcell Tournier, 33
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.


    Marcell added: 'Bob seems to have a "Hakuna Matata" problem-free philosophy and taught Zinzi how to relax.' 
    Zinzi was brought in at just one day old when Marcell realised her mother was refusing to feed her - a harsh reality of nature that could have meant the end of adorable Zinzi.
    But almost as soon as the lion had moved in to the home, near Sun City, South Africa, Marcell quickly realised he wasn't Zinzi's only fan.
    Lively two-year-old Meerkat instantly took a shine to his new playmate.

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