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Lion takes a shine to Rock Hill baby behind glass: ‘Ever see a lion so obsessed?’

Video shows lion lick and paw at glass after becoming 'obsessed' with SC toddler

Michael, a rare white lion, paws and licks the glass in an effort to reach 14-month old Josie.
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Michael, a rare white lion, paws and licks the glass in an effort to reach 14-month old Josie.

A lion, a baby and a Facebook video of the lion and the baby, separated by safety glass, has become a Internet sensation for Rock Hill mother Caity “Cait” Finley.

Finley took a video March 10 of a lion named Michael at Tiger World near Salisbury, N.C., pawing and licking safety glass with Cait’s daughter Josie safely outside the glass. The video has been shared thousands of times.

“The video shows the lion only wants to paw at Josie, and Josie is right there looking at the lion with her hands on the glass,” Cait said. “She wasn’t scared. She loved it.”

Finley, 21, a graduate of York Preparatory Academy in Rock Hill, said she took Josie to the zoo to see the big cats.

Michael, the male lion, took an immediate shine to Josie. The zoo is a preservation site for endangered animals.

“The lion came right across the enclosure and pawed at the glass, and even licked the glass, with Josie right there just inches from him,” Cait said. “The inches were the safety glass, though.”

Cait took video of the whole thing and posted it on Facebook, with the words “Ever seen a lion so obsessed with a baby?”

She said people immediately responded. So she sent it to a Fox television station in Charlotte and now after TV stations ran the video on their broadcasts and Web sites it has even more exposure.

“I don’t know who enjoyed it more, the lion or Josie,” Cait said.

Josie is 14 months old and had a great time at the zoo, her mother said.

They plan to go back, too, and see Michael the lion.

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