Triton, a lion at the Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa, has a hidden talent. Some soccer players may want to consider stepping up their game, because here comes Triton.
According to what Agnes Maluleke, the Johannesburg’ zookeeper in charge of the carnivore section, explains in the video below, there is one toy that Triton clearly favors — his trusty soccer ball.
In the video below, Maluleke tosses the soccer ball into Triton’s enclosure, much to the majestic animal’s delight.
Triton, an 11-year-old white lion, may have the looks of the king of the jungle, but he demonstrates that many times, the difference between a house cat and the big felines is just a matter of size. Felines are playful creatures, and you’ll find that lions are no exception. Triton plays with the soccer ball the way a house cat would play with a ball of yarn.
As Lion Den explains, games actually play a very large role in lions’ development, as “most of their play imitates behaviors they will use as adults including stalking and fighting. Play is an important way for cubs to learn these adult skills as well as to form strong social bonds with their companions.”
Triton takes to the ball with great gusto, chasing it around his enclosure — even diving after it when it rolled into the water — with impressive dribbling skills. Maluleke jokes, “I think all soccer players can come and learn a thing or two from Triton, because he’s the best soccer player.”
Be sure to watch the clip below to see this in action. Don’t forget to share this incredible story!