When Cami Fanning took her godson to Zoo Atlanta earlier this month, she figured it would be a fun outing for the 11-month-old. What she didn’t expect was for the little guy to come face-to-face — and become instant besties — with one of the zoo’s largest (and arguably, most terrifying) animals: the lion. But that’s exactly what happened.
Fanning, who later uploaded a video of their meeting to YouTube, explained the backstory in the video description: “Our godson’s name is Aryeh, which means lion in Hebrew, so his mom packed his lion costume.”
And because they just couldn’t dress him up in a fuzzy cub lion outfit without bringing him over to meet his fellow cats, they made sure to visit the lions while they were there:
“It was a pretty cold day so when we first arrived, the lions weren’t out yet,” Fanning recalled. “We saw the rest of the animals and stopped by the lion exhibit on our way out, saw that the lions were out and put Aryeh in his costume, thinking we’d snap a picture of him with the lions in the background.”
But what happened next was a moment the family will never forget: Aryeh pressed his little hands up on the glass of the lion exhibit, only to find that the lions were just as curious about him as he was of them. Fanning explained:
“The lions were immediately interested in our little lion cub, and it wasn’t long before they couldn’t stand their curiosity any longer and came right up to the glass! Aryeh was completely unfazed and interacted with the lions for a few minutes!”
Adorable! I can only imagine the look on Aryeh’s mother’s face when Fanning showed her the video later that day. This kid’s first trip to the zoo was definitely one for the books.