Animals have been known to show off some pretty spectacular tricks, but how many of them are able to play a full-on sport? Professional soccer players should make sure they keep an eye out for this amazing new ball player. Check out just how mind-blowing this lion’s soccer skills are – you won’t believe your eyes!
Zookeeper Agnes Mululeke was heading over to check on Triton the lion when an idea popped into her head. With a soccer ball in hand, she decided to throw the ball over to the lion. His reaction to the ball would blow her away…
19. South Africa
Mululeke works at the South African Johannesburg Zoo, which has been open since 1904. The zoo was originally home to a few animals that included one lion, a leopard, and a collection of giraffes. Currently, the zoo has expanded to include many animals including Triton.
18. Big 5
The zoo most famously houses the Big 5 animals, which are Africa’s most dangerous and well-known animals. These animals are notoriously hard to capture and are very dangerous. The animals included in the Big 5 are buffalos, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and lions. But there’s something special about one of the lions and you won’t believe why…
Image: Huffington Post
Triton was born at the Johannesburg Zoo in the late 1990s. He was raised and brought up by many of the zookeepers at the zoo and calls the zoo his home. He’s one of ten lions and while, at first glance, he may not look different he does house a special talent.
16. Bored Lion
Image: What Gives
Triton’s story begins in the funniest way. You see, the lion was becoming incredibly lazy and couldn’t be encouraged to do anything because he was so bored. The zookeepers decided to help keep him entertained by introducing a new toy for him to play with.
Image: Daily Mail
It is quite common for lion cubs to find various “toys” to play with and keep themselves entertained. These could be random items they find in nature such as an ostrich’s egg. They typically grow out of wanting to play as they age. But Triton’s reaction to his new toy surprised everyone…
Image: Daily Mail
Triton has, however, proven to be a real exception to this rule regarding lions. He still loves to play and actively seeks out playful activities. When he was younger, tourists would love approaching the area where Triton would be thanks to his playful ways. But after receiving his first ball he just couldn’t stop playing. You’ll be amazed at what he learned to do in such a short time. The zookeepers are in awe!
13. Usually Relaxed
Image: The Telegraph
For the most part, older lions lie around and keep a calm composure at the zoo. “You’ll hardly see the lions doing anything,” Mululeke stated. Triton, on the other hand, gets incredibly excited when a soccer ball is thrown his way. Check him out in the following photos, he’s amazing!
12. Crazy Skills
As Mululeke approaches the pen she calls out for the lion, “Come, Triton.” The lion quickly approaches as Mululeke then throws the ball into the area for Triton to play with. When the lion sees it…
11. Funny Behavior
Image: Nature Times
Once the ball is thrown toward Triton he instantly transforms into a little cub again. His behavior almost resembles that of a kitten playing around with a mouse toy or a ball of string. The lion adores his soccer ball and it is clear by his behavior…
The video posted to the Internet shows Triton masterfully playing around with the ball. It even appears as if he is dribbling the ball at certain points. The Internet went wild over the lion’s ball playing skills. And that’s not all!
Many users left comments expressing their shock and surprise at the playful lion with the amazing soccer skills. One commenter wrote, “That’s the first time I’ve seen a lion decide to jump into water just for fun – he must really love that ball!”
8. Mululeke’s Pride
Mululeke is extremely proud of Triton and his uncanny skills. She even joked around stating, “I think Triton could teach real [soccer players] a thing or two with his skills.” However, Triton isn’t much of a team player after all…
According to Mululeke, Triton refuses to share his toy with anyone, especially the females. He is very selfish with his ball and prefers to play all alone. “It’s clear he thinks it’s a man’s game. He won’t share it with any of the ladies,” Mululeke commented. But when Triton’s story went viral…
6. Internet Star
Thanks to his amazing talent that so few lions share, Triton has become an instant Internet star. The Internet has gone wild over the lion and his crafty little skill. No one can believe their eyes when they see the video for the first time.
5. More Comments
Image: Animal Channel
People online have even called Triton “Lion-el Messi” comparing him to the F.C. Barcelona soccer player. Online users have stated that Triton would make a great attack player as well.
These days, Triton doesn’t play with his soccer ball as much. The lion has pretty much retired due to his old age. He still has his health and is living happily at the zoo.
3. Stunning Sight
It is a truly stunning sight to witness an adult lion play around with a soccer ball. After having so much fun during his playing years, Triton can now retire in peace with all of his lovely memories to keep him happy. One last thing you need to know about Triton…
2. White Lion
Outside of his extraordinary talent, there is something that separates Triton from the rest of his lion pals. Triton happens to be a white lion and the gene is quite recessive, making it a highly unique factor. It usually takes two white lions to produce a white lion offspring.
Another even more unique factor concerning white lions is the fact that they do not naturally occur in nature. Triton is even rarer because he doesn’t carry any tawny-colored genes. Triton is a true miracle in many ways…