By Harriet Whitehead

These lions could give footballer Lionel Messi a run for his money after being snapped having a kick about.

The funny sequence shows male lion Yali playing football with his sister Arya at Paignton Zoo in Devon.


Two-year-old Yali was pictured chasing after the ball then giving it a skillful flick with his paw.

The photographs were taken by a regular zoo visitor.

He said: “The lions are given different types of enrichment every day.


“Obviously the balls they get are specially tough ones.

“Yali, the male, was just pawing with a ball and then he tapped it harder with his paw which sent it shooting off.

“Being lions, they both gave chase.”


The endangered Asiatic lions were born at the zoo in September 2016.

There are fewer than 300 Asiatic lions surviving in the wild.