Adorable pictures show gentle lion’s friendship with a butterfly

It’s not the sort of friendship you expect to see out in the African bush.

But this gentle lion was spotted making friends with a delicate butterfly at a wildlife park in Botswana.

The adult lion with the delicate butterfly resting on his paw

The adult lion with the delicate butterfly resting on his paw

The brave butterfly swoops in and lands on the lion’s paw as he washes himself in the afternoon sunshine  and the lion seems very attached to his new friend.

The adorable pictures were captured by Kobus Swart, 46, from Pretoria, South Africa, while on a camping holiday with his wife and some friends.

The adult lion with the delicate butterfly resting on his paw

The adult lion with the delicate butterfly resting on his paw

He said: “The lion was busy with an intensive grooming session, washing himself from top to bottom.

“At one stage while he was licking his paw this butterfly landed on his paw, presumably looking for some moisture.

“He had been fluttering around the lion for a few minutes, and seemed to be looking for a chance to land somewhere safe on the lion.

The lion is sad that the butterfly has left its paw

The lion is sad that the butterfly has left its paw

“It was just there for a couple of minutes  the lion just looked at it intensely, he could have eaten it with one quick bite.

“When it flew away he actually seemed to be upset, it’s like they formed a really cute friendship.

The lion is sad that the butterfly has left its paw

The lion is sad that the butterfly has left its paw

“You seldom get to have such a peaceful close-up lion sighting, so we were blessed.

“The lioness was fast asleep the whole time, but the male was grooming himself thoroughly  they had been seen and heard mating in the area over the previous few days, so I guess he was using the time to make himself look good for his lady!”