Zookeepers Put Three Dachshunds In This Lion’s Enclosure And Now They’re Best Friends

The lion is the king of the jungle and at the top of the food chain. From its fearsome roar to its lightning-quick reflexes, no creature in the natural world reigns supreme quite like Panthera leo.

So, when a giant lion named Bonedigger was placed in the same pen as four tiny, four-week-old dachshunds, his caretakers weren’t exactly sure if they’d get along. After all, Bonedigger wasn’t named after the kind of bone-digging dachshunds would jump with joy for.

But what happened as this group grew up alongside one another defied everything their humans knew about the big cat…

It’s no joke: lions are fierce. They’ve got claws that can rip, shred, and tear, and they have all the dexterity of a house cat while weighing a few hundred pounds more. Man may be at the top of the food chain for his intellect, but lions are apex predators that can tear him apart in seconds.

Sometimes, though, even animals with the size and strength of a lion can surprise you. Despite having a big appetite for hunting game, these animals can also have big hearts, if you can believe it by their intimidating roars!


Take one rescued lion, Bonedigger, who lives at the Greater Wynnewood Animal Park in Oklahoma. While he has name that’s fit for a biker gang thug, he’s formed a few surprising relationships around the park—including some that even the park manager can’t believe…

That’s because Bonedigger has some very interesting roommates: four tiny brown dachshund dogs! Other animals at the park—which houses quite a few of the world’s fiercest predators—might consider these little pups as an appetizer, but not Bonedigger…


Although Bonedigger has made friends with all four of these pups, one of them in particular has solidified her spot as the lion’s best friend. Meet Abby, a dachshund who doesn’t let her little size get in the way of her biggest friendships…

The park manager at the G.W. Interactive Zoo, John Reikene, is impressed by the bond between Bonedigger and Abby: “I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything like this bond,” he said in an interview. “They’re always just loving on each other.”

Perhaps it’s the proximity in age between these two animals that has made them such fast friends. Abby was born not long after the lion, and they were introduced between the ages of six and nine weeks old—and Bonedigger took right to nurturing the small pup. “Bonedigger gets along with all four of the wiener dogs,” one park employee said, “but Abby gets away with a lot more.”


Bonedigger doesn’t allow anyone else in his cage besides these four dogs and the man responsible for feeding and cleaning up after him. He gets aggressive with anyone—or anything—else that infringes on his personal space…

“Believe it or not, I think the weenie dogs overpower him,” Bonedigger’s caretaker said. “One minute they’ll be running around the house, chasing him, and then the next minute, he’s chasing them—so they reverse roles.” The lion loves his dog friends so much that he even nips at their fleas!


The best part? Wait until you see Bonedigger and the dachshunds actually playing together! It’s a sight to behold! Watch the video below for an in-depth look at the relationship between a lion and his canine pals…

Now that is an animal friendship you don’t see every day. You’d expect those dachshunds to run far away, but Bonedigger showed that he’s just a big, loving lion after all!

Share this incredible friendship with your friends below!

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