Suzanne Scott of the Glen Garriff Conservation in Harrismith, South Africa, says “Everything with cats is on their own terms.” Smokey, the huge lion in the video below, lives up to that claim!
Smokey was filmed blocking the road into the park — and seemingly doing it on purpose!
“Every evening the gate from Smokey’s camp is opened to the passage so that he can come and go as he pleases.”
As such, the huge lion is used to freedom, but the more fascinating thing is what he does when it is time to go back inside.
According to Scott, Smokey’s incessant blocking of the road is actually a means to an end — that end being cuddles from his favorite park ranger and lion manager, Mike.
“Every morning when Mike comes into work he has this ritual with Smokey to get him back into his own camp so we can use the passage for vehicles,” Scott says. “It is our belief that Smokey often delays this process for more attention from Mike, who is his favorite person.”
Indeed, all you have to do is click on the video below to see this animal’s stunning and pretty adorable behavior.
The moment Mike arrives on the road, Smokey walks over to him, close enough to touch, and then refuses to move.
No matter how many times Mike says “Go! Smokey, go!” the lion won’t budge.
That is, until the petting, the scratching, and the cuddling begins.
Check out Smokey the lion’s antics in the video below, and please SHARE them on Facebook!
Lion snuggles look adorable, but they betray evidence of the often violent life that lions lead. Cuddling may help to reinforce friendships that become necessary to protect a lion’s territory from intruders.
Head rubbing is when one lion bends its head towards the head, neck, or most often, under the chin of a second lion, and nuzzles up against it. The behavior provides not only tactile stimulation, but it may also play a role in sensory communication. It isn’t yet clear why, but lions often rub their heads on surfaces before scent-marking them with urine, suggesting that compounds that occur on their heads are somehow involved in olfactory communication. Licking has hygienic benefits, to be sure, but might also fulfill the same social purpose as grooming among primates and other mammals.