Triton, a lion who lives at Johannesburg Zoo, was one of the most excited animals. He showed his excitement by constantly playing with a soccer ball.
Triton is a rare white lion, and he was born and raised at the Johannesburg Zoo. He spends most of his time sleeping, playing, or hanging out with his mate, Dharma. The two are the oldest lion couple at Johannesburg Zoo, and they’ve been together for almost twenty years.
While Triton has lived at the Johannesburg Zoo his whole life, he didn’t discover his love for soccer until he was an adult.
He learned about soccer when a group of kids threw a soccer ball into his enclosure. The kids were part of a group that gives the zoo animals different objects to see what interests them. The kids gave Triton a few objects, but the only one he was interested in was the soccer ball.
Now, he still loves playing with his soccer ball. He chases it all around his enclosure, going around and around in circles. He even chases it into the water, not caring that he’s getting soaked.
Triton and the trainer who looks after him, Agnes Maluleke, understand each other very well. As soon as Triton sees Agnes pick up the soccer ball, he knows that a game is about to begin, and his tail starts wagging with excitement. He jumps all around his enclosure, eager to get the soccer ball into his paws. Once he has it, he can happily play for hours.
While he’s playing, he sometimes accidentally pops the soccer ball with his sharp teeth. He doesn’t mind, though—Triton loves soccer so much, he’s okay playing with a deflated ball.
Playing soccer clearly makes Triton very happy, and he has some serious talent. If you want to see Triton’s soccer skills in action, check out the video below!
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