By Danny Baggott @dan_baggie
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Videographer / director: Nathan Pellow-Jarman
Producer: Danny Baggott
Editor: Florence Kennard
24-year-old, Shandor Larenty, took it upon himself to be the first human to try and interact with the three cubs on site at the Lion And Safari Park in South Africa. With the cub’s mom, Rialda, and 250kg dad, George, rarely leaving their side, Shandor was faced with the potentially deadly task of not forcing his approach and upsetting the protective parents. Shandor, who is sometimes dubbed the ‘Lion King’, has formed an incredible bond with George over the past eight years that allows him to be able to hand-feed the apex predator. He has become an expert in the wildlife department; interacting with lions, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes and African wild dogs, to name a few, every day. But he knew the stakes were different this time around with cubs involved. After spending more than five hours immersing himself and getting in closer proximity with the feisty younglings, Shandor was able to make his very first connection with one of them licking his outstretched hand. Shandor was overjoyed with the success of his mission and can’t wait to continue solidifying his bond with the cubs going forward. He remains thankful that he can still perform his ‘dream job’ each day – working to preserve the conservation of species and spread his animal-loving positivity to the world. This is the first episode in Barcroft TV's brand new three-part series: 'Big Cat Life', that airs on the Beastly YouTube channel, with a new episode being released each week.