Lions Treat Woman Like the Leader of Their Pride

[Music] here at this privately-owned Wildlife Park in South Africa the staff are using a unique method to try and inspire the public to care more about animals oral as me has managed to integrate herself with not one but four lions [Music] she’s known these animals since they were Cubs and she’s so confident they’ll be well behaved that at this park they’ll even allow people into the enclosure with them it’s a controversial setup even though there’s always other members of her team keeping watch but I’m intrigued to know how this relationship works and what she does to keep her lions in check these lions are just 17 months old but they are big enough to do some serious damage if they choose to obviously if I was in here without you that would be a totally different story that’s why it is important to us to remember they are wild animals so their instincts can stay there when they’re younger we take them on walks around the park that’s Judith we have a very strong bond with this group how is it possible that you can have such a close relationship with essentially wild animals we respect them as wild animals to start off with I think that’s one of the some points we don’t train them we don’t do anything like that so you’re basically to earn their trust and the respect they’ve known me as a constant dominant finger in their life since they were babies and that’s why I’m able to go so up close to you okay so you’re mentioning a dominant figure which means that hierarchy is a play here understanding how these animals would normally behave in the wild so where are you in the pecking order and how do you establish that with lions albeit in captivity I think it’s just because we’ve been there since they were babies uh-huh and I’ve always been the grown-up so what’s John doing there eyes I think yeah and obviously they needed to have a figure that everything back in place and they are put back in place when they misbehave how’d you learn how to do that how did you just from interacting with them over time you learned their behavior you learned to read their looks and mood swings and their different personalities or has clearly grown attached to these lions but if things go according to plan she won’t have this relationship with them forever the staff at the park are planning a very ambitious and untested project to do something that most people would consider impossible they want to release these hand-reared lions into the wild when they’re older I was under the impression that if any individuals are for release you must have absolutely no contact with them that’s what we’re hoping to prove wrong because you have right now in South Africa more lines in captivity than in the wild so if we can take the animals from this situation and prove that you can turn them wild again then we can be saving quite a few of them we believe it’s possible and we believe our intimate knowledge of these ones will help us achieve that goal and hopefully they’ll be our first ambassadors they’re amazing animals they really are they’re perfect