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Meet The Man Who Loves To Hug Lions And Tigers

Large felines such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs are at the top of the list when it comes to dangerous creatures. Despite their incredible beauty, those majestic cats are not the type of cats you want to be around. That doesn’t stop Armand Gerber and his wife, Beatrice, from spending the lot of time with the world’s most deadly wild cats. The couple owns and runs the Iron Throne Predator and Wildlife Park in South Africa, a 200-acre refuge home to 10 lions, three tigers, two leopards, and a cheetah, as well as other rescued wild creatures.


All of the animals here were born in captivity, and 90% of them are still being nurtured by us – but the most significant thing is that eight of our lions came from a facility that was shut down due to negative press. They’re rescues in our eyes,” Armand says. “They’ve found their forever home.” Every day, I have to defend the fact that we own lions, but if I could, I would own all of the world’s caged lions.

Armand confesses that his wild felines all want to be hugged, proving the adage that “once a cat, always a cat.” And, of course, they get to spend the day with their human pal. Working with such huge creatures, who are truly top predators, is extremely dangerous, as Armand understands. However, he declares that he would enjoy the opportunity to serve in this capacity. Wild creatures, on the other hand, should be handled with the utmost respect, according to him.