The unusual bond between Mikkel Legarth conservationist and the lioness he once saved from almost certain death can be summed up in one image :
This amazing photo , taken in October 2012, became viral this week after the couple 's story has got some news outlets . Images , Legarth , established Modisa Wildlife Project in Botswana with fellow animal lover Valentin Gruener , was seen hugging Sirga , a 110 - pound lioness who was abandoned as a cub .
" A Pride had three sons and two were killed before Sirga abandoned without food , " said Legarth Caters News Agency . " It happened in our land and we could not stand by and watch her die . "
That was in February last year and Gruener took Legarth Sirga in animals became severely dehydrated at the time , according to a 2012 blog posts Modisa Wildlife Project , but the duo nursed him back to health .
" We believe that he is probably the most spoiled and well - fed lion you can see in Botswana , " Legarth write this post . " We made her milk from scratch - fresh eggs , cream , milk , vitamins , sunflower oil and calcium - . [ A ] lavish meal for a small lion Now she is too old for milk , but still producing we are sure to cut the best pieces of meat for him . "
Tell surrogate parents Sirga the lioness - who interacts only with Legarth and Gruener to avoid excessive contact with people - are given plenty of space to roam and hunt in his natural habitat .
Legarth and Gruener , from Denmark and Germany , respectively , established the Modisa Wildlife Project in 2012 . Meaning " guardian " in Seswana , a local language in the center of Botswana , Modisa is committed to the maintenance and upkeep of the Kalahari ecosystem , according to the website of the group .