This Lion Loves Bathtime

  maulik patel
  karma level 70821



African soap opera: Zien the lion thinks bathtime is a roaring success

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:10 PM on 4th November 2010


While most cats notoriously hate water Zien the fussy lion is so particular about being clean he loves nothing more than getting lathered up with British big cat handler Alex Larenty.   

Alex has formed such a close bond with the lions in his care that he fearlessly grooms the top predators as if they were visitors to a spa.

And Zien is his most frequent visitor - rushing over for a good pampering with Alex whenever he can. 

While most cats notoriously hate water Zien the lion loves getting into a lather with British big cat handler Alex Larenty


The giant cat looks every bit the King of the Jungle - scrubbing up well in these bath time pictures taken last week at the Lion Park near Johannesburg, South Africa.   

Showing off in a watering hole at his home, Zien leaps into the air as 50-year-old Alex, who comes from Chipping Norton, rewards him with a meaty treat.   

The three-year-old male lion even shakes his coat just like a dog as Alex washes the soap off with a bucketload of water.   

'He loves the water and makes a beeline to his watering hole whenever he can,' said Alex.

'Most lions would avoid water, but Zien has become such a fusspot he'll even take his food to the water and gives the meat a wash before he gobbles it up.

The giant cat looks every bit the King of the Jungle - scrubbing up well in these bath time pictures taken last week at the Lion Park near Johannesburg

Zien, or 'Elbows' as he is known to the local children, has been raised by Alex since his birth


'We've been living with a hot spell down here and Zien's realised that he can refresh himself with a cooling dip.

'This provides great stimulation for him as you can tell he's really enjoying himself.

'I get to take part in bath time with a difference so it's win, win for everyone involved.

'As a trainer it's always important to ensure your lions are happy.

'It's a real privilege to be able interact with a magnificent lion in this way.'  

Zien, or 'Elbows' as he is known to the local children, has been raised by Alex since his birth at the Lion Park.  

Showing off in a watering hole at his home, Zien leaps into the air as 50-year-old Alex awards him with a meaty treat


His close relationship with the animals has allowed him to develop a unique bond of trust and intimacy with animals like Zien.

'We are really close but you know there are certain things they know they musn't do and certain things you know you mustn't do, so you get to know each other,' said Alex.

Despite his young age Zien already weighs a whopping 90 kg and is fed twice a week on fresh meat to mimic the eating habits of lions in the wild.

The 208-acre Lion Park houses over 300 animals including lions, cheetahs and hyenas.   

Skilled Alex moved to South Africa in 1999 and has been an animal trainer for 35 years.

The 208-acre Lion Park houses over 300 animals including lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Skilled Alex moved to South Africa in 1999 and has been an animal trainer for 35 years






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