New year, new you, right? Well, what better way to transform yourself in 2019 than…
Hello Joburgers, we’re all aware that humans can form amazing bonds with animals. But have you ever heard of a human with an animal bond so strong that they can hug giraffes and hyenas and give lions foot massages? We thought not.
Twenty-four-year-old South African wildlife expert Shandor Larenty has struck up an extraordinary bond with his animals and recently shared pictures of him walking among predators at the Lion & Safari Park in Hartebeespoort.
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Shandor’s love for animals and wildlife goes way back. He explains that when he was in his teens and his friends were out partying and enjoying their younger years, he was working night shifts attending special night feeds with injured giraffes, mucking out hyenas or watching over sick lions. Shandor says that while he’s doing his dream job, the work is super-demanding and leaves him little to no time for a love life, but thankfully he does get affection from somewhere – usually his furry friends at the park like Themba the hyena who loves kisses and to have her tongue scratched.
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Shandor’s interaction with the lions and other predators at the Lion & Safari Park never fail to amaze crowds. He’s even recreated the daring feat with George, a seven-year-old lion in the park’s pride, but warns that the interaction shouldn’t be taken lightly. Shandor explains that whether it’s a lion or a giraffe, wild animals are wild animals – they have the ability to cause serious harm or potentially kill you. That being said, he says he wouldn’t have it any other way and would much rather get to come out into the African bush and see his lions than work a nine-to-five job like most people do.
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Visit the Lion & Safari Park at R512 Pelindaba Road, Hartbeespoort, Broederstroom.
087 150 0100
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!