Man Kisses Wild Lion in Viral Video, Calls Big Cat His 'Bestie'

Sometimes the oddest pairings can make the best of friends, as a recent viral video has shown.

In a clip shared to TikTok by Shandor Larenty, we can see the wildlife professional cuddling up to a large lion named George.

In the footage, which has already garnered more than 468,700 views on the app, Larenty is seen stroking the big cat's mane before bringing the animal in for a hug around his furry neck.

The camera then cuts to the two facing each other, as the lion tamer strokes the animal under his chin before planting a kiss on the big cat's nose.

Larenty captioned the heartwarming clip, which can be watched here, writing: "When your bestie just wants cuddles #georgethelion #shandorlarenty #safari #mypride #mybestfriend."

The 26-year-old, who has 9.3 million followers on TikTok, is originally from Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, but struck up his close bond with George at the wildlife reserve he now works at in Gauteng, South Africa.

Speaking to Jacaranda FM, Larenty explained: "I hug lions and we have a bond - I call them my fur family but people must always remember that it will stay a wild animal."

"Doing what I do is not a job, it's a lifestyle and something you really have to dedicate your entire life to."

"Animals don't have a clock so this is definitely not a 9-to-5 job where when the clock strikes five and I can be like hey I'm going home."

The adorable video of Larenty cuddling George has gained lots of traction online since it was posted on October 22, having gained a staggering 70,500 likes.

One TikTok user, Amanda, wrote: "Absolutely beautiful and always makes me smile."

Another person, Sonja Putnam, added: "What a gentle king."

User504381234814 stated: "Look at those paws they're the size of my whole body. You are beautiful George."

Steeph750 typed: "For myself, seeing this is the real proof that love is a very powerful tool."

Jackie gushed: "Wow!! Beautiful. He's very lucky to have you!"

Spreadthelove observed: "They always look so happy for the love given."

Anoark Fernando admitted: "Just tooo adorable."

Jenny Moore commented: "I absolutely love your bond. It's beautiful."

Michael Mahony asked: "So when people talk about how they use their dog to protect them do you just sip your tea and judge quietly."

Another heartwarming video recently went viral on TikTok, showing the friendship between a dog and some fish.

In the clip TikToker by Karen Vick films her boxer standing next to a koi pond looking longingly, before the she tells the animal to get in with his "friends."

The pet then tentatively slides into the water and stands happily with the koi.

Man with a lion
A stock image of a man standing next to a lion. On TikTok, Shandor Larenty has gone viral with his video of him cuddling his "bestie" George iStock