A Swiss man dubbed the lion whisperer because of his ability to communicate with the big cats has amassed a huge following after moving from his Swiss homeland to set up a sanctuary in South Africa.
He posts pictures and videos like this one in which he talks about how you communicate with the lion, and how to make sure the animal knows the boundaries in order to avoid possibly serious injury.
In the video he says: “I’ve known this lion named Dexter since he was a baby.” He said when they first met, Dexter was riddled with parasites after he was rescued from a lion breeder.
The 26-year-old, who has been living in South Africa for a year after giving up his job as a financial planner in Switzerland, set up the Hakuna Mipaka club in a 400 ha estate to cater for lions born in captivity. The name of the club comes from the Swahili expression meaning “no limits”.
It also caters in a separate area for zebras, impalas, kudu, hyenas or baboons all living in freedom.
He said: “My family was not delighted that I simply gave up my career in Switzerland to take on such a risky venture in Africa. Now both my parents and colleagues are really excited and proud of my work “
He posts the videos he makes online showing every day life on the reserve, feeding the monkey JayJay and playing with the female hyena Chuckie.
But despite having a 103k followers he claims he is not trying to influence anyone, and says he is always flattered when people contact him to find out more about his project.
He added that the project was never boring, one day tackling bushfires in the next dealing with rescued or neglected animals that were born in captivity.
They also regularly visit schools to educate them about wildlife.