Triton, the latest tourist attraction at the Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa is an 11 year old lion who spends his time doing something that might surprise you.
This beastly animal can be intimidating to any child or adult at first glance, however when a soccer ball is in close vicinity he’s just a big playful (and very talented) cat. Triton gets very excited and enthusiastic when he sees a soccer ball, using his paws to push the ball around and chase after it, clearly having a great time. As you can see in the video by Barcroft TV , Triton is so committed to the game he even ends up jumping right into the pond in his enclosure to get the ball, nudging it to land and eventually grabbing it with his mouth to get it out.
Triton does not share this hobby with any other lions at the zoo, as this behavior is actually very unusual amongst lions, according to the Daily Mail. He enjoys the sport so much it completely distracts him from interacting with any of the seven other female lionesses in his enclosure. Agnes Mululeke, the curator at the Johannesburg zoo discusses how Triton was born and raised at the Zoo and how hard it usually is to ever see lions do much around their enclosure, however throwing a ball inside will easily get Triton up and going.
On the flip side of this incredible lion’s story, it is crucial to bring awareness to the fact that many lions are endangered, and continuously live under threat of poaching and habitat destruction.