Man Travels To Africa To Study Cats, And Is Reunited With The Lioness He Rescued

As a boy growing up in Germany, Valentin Gruener discovered that he had a passion for helping sick animals. As an adult, he took that love and used it as fuel to start the Modisa Wildlife Project in Botswana.

Not long after he began rehabilitating and rescuing animals there, he met Sirga. The tiny lion cub was abandoned and left for dead by a pack of lions after her siblings were killed for being a threat. Scooping her up, Valentin rushed her back to safety. Years later, their bond is truly beautiful.

Growing up in Germany, Valentin Gruener loved caring for sick animals, especially cats. Eventually, this drew him to Africa, where he hoped to work with big cats.

01-sirga-the-lionessFacebook / Valentin Gruener

Luckily for him, there were plenty to be found!

02-sirga-the-lionessFacebook / Valentin Gruener


But it wasn’t until he met Mikkel Legarth, a native of Denmark, that his dreams started to coalesce. Together, they founded Modisa Wildlife Project.

03-sirga-the-lionessFacebook / Modisa Wildlife Project

Still, nothing prepared Valentin for the relationship he would develop with a little lion cub named Sirga. After rescuing her, the men decided they didn’t want her to grow up in captivity.

04-sirga-the-lionessFacebook / Modisa Wildlife Project


Valentin and Mikkel worked hard to raise Sirga in the wild, allowing only themselves to have contact with her.

05-sirga-the-lionessFacebook / Modisa Wildlife Project

She now lives under the watchful eye of the her rescuers, but still enjoys the wild where she belongs.

06-sirga-the-lionessFacebook / Modisa Wildlife Project


The best example of Sirga’s relationship with Valentin was captured on video… and it’s adorable.

That’s some really amazing work by Valentin and Mikke in following their dreams and doing some good! Clearly, Sirga appreciates it!

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