When 11-month-old Aryeh’s parents gave him a name that means “lion” in Hebrew, they had no idea that their son would one day be welcomed into a real-life pride.
Aryeh and his godfather were about to leave Zoo Atlanta in Georgia when they made one final stop at the lion exhibit. Remembering that Aryeh’s mom had packed him a lion costume, he quickly changed the toddler in hopes of snapping a picture of him next to his feline friends. What he captured was a surprise to everyone.
As soon as the big cats see Aryeh dressed as a lion cub, they can’t contain their curiosity. Could this be a long-lost member of their pride? Watching the toddler and lions interact is one of the sweetest examples of cross-species friendship I’ve ever seen.
Aryeh’s godfather shared the footage on Newsflare, where he wrote the following statement:
“The lions were immediately interested in our little lion cub, and it wasn’t long before they couldn’t stand their curiosity any longer and came right up to the glass! Aryeh was completely unfazed and interacted with the lions for a few minutes! We took some pictures and videos before moving along as the lions started getting a little worked up and we didn’t want to make them too anxious.”