Lion tamer becomes a TikTok sensation for his jaw-dropping videos with his ‘best friend’ George


Part of the pride! British lion tamer is a TikTok sensation thanks to jaw-dropping videos in which he cuddles and kisses an adult male who’s his ‘best friend’

  • Shandor Larenty, 25, originally from Chipping Norton, now loves in South Africa
  • Works on a wildlife reserve and has worked with the animals there for 13 years
  • Has 4.7million followers on TikTok where he shares videos of him with the lions
  • Shandor is regularly seen cuddling and kissing a huge male lion called George 

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but for Shandor Larenty, it’s an enormous male lion called George.

The 25-year-old, originally from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, now lives in South Africa where he works on a wildlife reserve in Gauteng caring for its animals.

And he’s become a TikTok sensation with 4.7million followers thanks to his incredible videos in which he cuddles and kisses lions, cheetahs, hyenas and even giraffes.

He’s built up a particular rapport with adult male lion George, whom he calls his ‘best friend’.

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but for Shandor Larenty, it’s an enormous male lion called George (pictured together)

The duo are so at ease in each other’s company that George regularly nuzzles Shandor, lets him kiss his head and rolls over for a belly rub or foot massage.

George is so infatuated with his keeper that he gives chase whenever he spots Shandor’s truck on the reserve and demands cuddles.

To capture his stunning clips, Shandor uses an iPhone on a selfie stick. 

Followers are captivated by his videos, with many asking how he managed to strike up such a close bond with the magnificent creatures.

Shandor, originally from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, now lives in South Africa where he works on a wildlife reserve in Gauteng caring for its animals - including George and his family

Shandor, originally from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, now lives in South Africa where he works on a wildlife reserve in Gauteng caring for its animals - including George and his family

Shandor, originally from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, now lives in South Africa where he works on a wildlife reserve in Gauteng caring for its animals – including George and his family

Shandor's followers are regularly transfixed by his videos - he shared this clip after one asked how big George's paws are

Shandor’s followers are regularly transfixed by his videos – he shared this clip after one asked how big George’s paws are

Shandor moved to South Africa with his wildlife expert father Alex in 1999 and has certainly inherited his skills. Pictured with his 'best friend' George the lion

Shandor moved to South Africa with his wildlife expert father Alex in 1999 and has certainly inherited his skills. Pictured with his 'best friend' George the lion

Shandor moved to South Africa with his wildlife expert father Alex in 1999 and has certainly inherited his skills. Pictured with his ‘best friend’ George the lion

George puts up with all sorts of Shandor's shenanigans, including his dance moves for TikTok

George puts up with all sorts of Shandor’s shenanigans, including his dance moves for TikTok

Shandor has become a TikTok sensation with 4.7million followers thanks to his incredible videos in which he cuddles and kisses lions, cheetahs, hyenas and even giraffes

Shandor has become a TikTok sensation with 4.7million followers thanks to his incredible videos in which he cuddles and kisses lions, cheetahs, hyenas and even giraffes

Shandor has become a TikTok sensation with 4.7million followers thanks to his incredible videos in which he cuddles and kisses lions, cheetahs, hyenas and even giraffes

Shandor is a third-generation lion tamer and showed early signs of carrying on the family tradition – interacting with elephants aged just 13-months-old. 

His first big cat encounter was with a cheetah aged 11 and he has never looked back.

A pair of adorable cheetahs regularly feature on his TikTok videos and Instagram account.

Speaking in 2013, he said: ‘A lot of the lions that I work with were born when I started learning, so I’ve grown up with them.’ 

Shandor moved to South Africa with his wildlife expert father Alex in 1999 and has certainly inherited his skills.  

The duo are so at ease in each other's company that George regularly nuzzles Shandor, lets him kiss his head and rolls over for a belly rub or foot massage

The duo are so at ease in each other’s company that George regularly nuzzles Shandor, lets him kiss his head and rolls over for a belly rub or foot massage

Shandor is a third-generation lion tamer and showed early signs of carrying on the family tradition - interacting with elephants aged just 13-months-old

Shandor is a third-generation lion tamer and showed early signs of carrying on the family tradition – interacting with elephants aged just 13-months-old

Followers are captivated by Shandor's videos, with many asking how he managed to strike up such a close bond with the magnificent creatures

Followers are captivated by Shandor's videos, with many asking how he managed to strike up such a close bond with the magnificent creatures. Pictrured with a hyena

Followers are captivated by Shandor’s videos, with many asking how he managed to strike up such a close bond with the magnificent creatures



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