By Josh Saunders
A confused lion was captured on camera cleaning, pruning and protecting cars – believing they are part of his pride.
Shane the 15-year-old, African lion, bizarrely shows affection to large vehicles in a similar way to other big cats – by grooming, rubbing and licking them.
Clearly not an automobile fan, it’s been suggested this big cat from Harrismith, South Africa, is confusing the SEAT Leon, for a SEAT lion.
Suzanne Scott, 50, conservation director at GG Conservation, was surprised to see the unusual behaviour, but said it made her feel like ‘part of his pride’.
Suzanne from Leeds, Yorkshire, said: “Shane just loves the vehicles of the people who care for him.
“He regularly uses the three vehicles to rub against even though he has plenty of trees he could use in his enclosure.
“We believe he considers us to be ‘part of his pride’ and is displaying affection towards us, as lions do with all members of their pride with head rubs and grooming.
“This is very unique though, as most of the other lions do not do this to cars! Shane is a character!
“He also licks the car and then ‘marks’ the car as well by spraying his pee on it, just to ‘prove’ we are his.”
Shane is one of 77 lions in GG Lions NPC, a non-profit subsidiary of GG Conservation.
Since being in the sanctuary, he’s taken to the three cars of Suzanne, owner Pat, and caretaker Mike – who feeds him.
Suzanne estimates Shane’s obsession with cars has lasted for 10 years and he shows no sign of stopping now – even heading straight back to cuddle the cars after recent treatment for an illness.
The 50-year-old, who left her job in sales four years ago to become the director of the conservation organisation, added: “Shane has been affectionate to the cars for a number of years – probably around 10 years.
“Our online response from our followers are great, they all know Shane loves the car and that it’s a special thing.
“In fact, he was sick recently, now recovered thanks to veterinary treatment, and we knew he was feeling better when he started loving the cars again.”