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Lioness Gets Extremely Emotional After Reuniting With Her ‘Adoptive Dad’

Stephanie Kelsey

Think about the most dangerous animals in the world. Lions would definitely be among them, right? Take the average housecat and multiply it—by a lot! Large, sharp teeth and claws combine with such quickness that it definitely separates them from their household counterparts, making them a force to be reckoned with. But then again, there are those of us who don’t have the same fear most would.

Get this: the more a person visits a lion, the more the lion will become familiar with that person. Sounds pretty promising! And what about when someone decides to adopt a lioness? Can a wild animal be domesticated? That’s where our story of Adolfo reuniting with the lioness Kiara, who he adopted many years ago, comes in.


26. Just a Baby

Not too long ago, just a couple years really, Adolfo was working as a lion trainer when he came across Kiara. She was just a cub at the time, and this is where their incredible story begins.

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25. In the Beginning

Kiara was just little at the time—still fluffy and cute, nothing even close to the magnificent creature she would grow to become. Alfonso had no idea of the bond he and baby Kiara would grow to have, no matter how much time or space would separate them.

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24. Don’t Mess With Them!

Lions are powerful, and are considered the kings (or queens!) of the jungle. Other animals are really no match for them and their prowess. Despite knowing that, Alfonso still took Kiara in, knowing that his passion for his job was far greater than any fear.

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23. She Is Lion, Hear Her Roar!

It must be a scary feeling having a lion roar so close to you, not knowing what could happen. Not Alfonso, though. As a lion trainer, he had no time for fear! He still didn’t expect the reaction he got from Kiara when they saw each other again, though I’m sure he really didn’t know what to expect at that point. Who would?

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22. Growing Up and Growing Apart

Although Adolfo trains lions for a living, he and Kiara were separated when she got a little older. He still remembers her, of course, but does Kiara still remember him? It’s hard to say if she would, especially since she’s no longer that cute little baby cub he came to know. But it was a risk he was willing to take when he decided to see her again.

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21. Time Goes Slowly, But Carries On

Adolfo and Kiara would play together all the time, but so much time has passed since then. He missed her a lot and decided he needed to go and visit her, to see what kind of reaction, if any, she might have to hearing his voice again.

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20. That Recognizable Voice

His old friend was playing when Adolfo first spotted her at the zoo. But then, oh then, she heard him say her name—and that’s when momentum changed.

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19. Is It Really Her Friend?

At first, Kiara wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Her nose went up, trying to figure out the new, yet familiar, smell in her territory that went along with that voice. She knew the voice—and then she spotted where it came from.

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18. Yes, It Is!

The voice Kiara heard must have stirred up memories because she immediately started looking around for Adolfo, waiting for the moment her cage door would open.

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17. Let Me at Him, Please!

When her door opened, she went right for it! She knew Adolfo was there, and that he was there to see her. Her mindset was like that of when she was just a cub, excited to see the person she knew cared about her so much. It was obvious at this point that Kiara was very excited to see him again.

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16. She Just Can’t Hide It

At this point, Kiara was dancing around her cage, unable to keep her enthusiasm to herself. The door still hadn’t opened yet to let Adolfo in, but he was close—just a few feet from her.

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15. Patiently Waiting

Kiara was so close to that door that the zookeepers were a little on edge—they just weren’t quite sure what she might do when it opened. It’s safe to say (no pun intended here) that they were pleasantly surprised by her reaction when it came.

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14. Like No Time Passed at All

Adolfo was barely in her cage when Kiara was all over him! They both fell to the ground, Kiara forgetting that she was much bigger now than when she was a cub.

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13. Sweeping Him Off His Feet

Just picture this for a minute: a man who weighed close to 200 lbs was knocked off his feet by a lioness—and out of sheer joy, nonetheless! I don’t think he minded, though. The two old friends started rolling around the ground together, having fun just like they used to. Don’t believe us? Just keep scrolling!

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12. No Work, All Play

Kiara was growling at this point, but it isn’t what you think. It was because she was so happy to see Adolfo again, and he shared the same feeling. He couldn’t stop laughing at her behavior! The reunion he had been planning for a while was going very well, and would only get better.

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11. So Much Happy

Adolfo wasn’t scared at all. He knew his Kiara, having been with her almost since the beginning. He was over the moon about playing with her again, which isn’t exactly something your average, everyday person could say. She was so happy that she started biting at his pants too. Wait, what?

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10. Those Pants Don’t Suit You!

Yes, it’s true, she was trying to take Adolfo’s black pants off of him. It wasn’t out of her wild nature taking over, it was just her way of playing. But when she started nipping at his hand, things could have taken a turn.

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9. Just a Few Love Bites

Luckily, it didn’t. She was still just playing and didn’t even nip at him too long. Adolfo didn’t mind any of it, he was enjoying himself so much being around his friend and couldn’t stop laughing at her reactions toward him.

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8. The Calm After the Delight

Eventually, though, the pair started to calm down a bit and wound up laying on the grass with each other. Very cute! Just a man and his now-grown lioness. No fear, just pure delight.

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7. He Shall Not Pass

Kiara had a hard time letting Adolfo leave her cage. He managed to make it out, though. I’m sure it was easier on him, knowing he could go back and visit her again. And he did, the very next day!

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6. He’s Back!

Eventually, Adolfo did have to leave—but not without visiting his dear Kiara one last time. He thought that maybe she would be more indifferent of his presence already, and likely wasn’t expecting her reaction at all.

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5. Cuddles, Please!

When Adolfo was let into her cage that day, she leapt at him once again. Just as the first time he went to see her, she knocked him down and they both fell to the ground. He still didn’t mind! But wait, was she going for his face now?

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4. So Much Love

Well, yes, she was going for his face, but just like with the nips at Adolfo’s pants and hand, her nips at his face just showed how much she loved him. Knowing what we know of their relationship, Kiara is one lioness we’d be willing to pet and show affection for.

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3. All Snuggles, All the Time

The unlikely pair couldn’t get enough of the cuddles on their final day together. Sadly, all good things must come to an end.

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2. One More, Before He Goes

Adolfo gave his lioness one last kiss before he had to leave. He didn’t know when he would see her again, though hopefully it would be soon. A bond like theirs is one that won’t be broken, no matter what.

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1. No One Can Tear Them Apart

Although we don’t know when Alfonso might visit Kiara again, one thing is for sure—she definitely remembered him, even after so much time apart. It also proves that even the deadliest creatures can be big softies at the end of the day. Maybe just don’t try it at home!

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