Puppy love: The lion cub called Simba who has forged an adorable friendship with Monty the dog and Thumper the rabbit


Simba the lion nuzzles up to his playmate Thumber the rabbit

It reads like the plot of a Disney movie - three unlikely animal playmates overcoming their differences to forge an adorable friendship.
But this is a real life story, about a lion cub called Simba, a rabbit called thumper and a dog called Monty, all being raised together at the Edinburgh home of two zookeepers.
The trio spend their days playfighting and cuddling and their antics have been filmed and shared online with thousands of animal lovers around the world.

Upper hand: Monty makes the most of his temporary size advantage in a playfight with Simba

Thirteen-week-old Simba was taken away from his mother at Edinburgh Zoo after falling ill over the winter.
While sharing a home with two zookeepers, Simba found willing playmates in the couple's pet dog and rabbit.
Despite their obvious differences, the three have become firm friends, showing genuine and heartwarming affection for each other as they scamper around the home they share.

Simba pounces on Thumper, playfully. Since the video was made, the cub has quickly outgrown his playmates

Sadly the friendship was destined to come to an end - having shaken off the illness that has kept him away from his real family, he'll soon have to return to the zoo.
He has also quickly grown too big to be trusted around his already fully-grown playmates - as well as his human housemates.
His keeper reveals on the Youtube video, which has already been viewed by thousands of people:
'As he gets older he gets more boisterous. in the morning you wake up and go to the toilet and there's a lion cub clinging on to the back of your leg.'

Once he catches his little friend, they nuzzle and cuddle up and Simba nibbles affectionately on Thumper's fur

Simba the lion nuzzles up to his playmate Thumber the rabbit

Simba has had to be fed from a bottle, while he's raised away from his pride

The lion cub has grown quickly and will soon be well enough to return to Edinburgh Zoo

source: dailymail