In June 2021, a viral Facebook post showed what its author claimed was a lion receiving a foot massage at a big game reserve in South Africa. The widely shared post, published by Sandra Fan on June 10, included two photographs of a lion apparently relaxing and rolling around on its back, while a man rubbed its paws. The caption read:
No, this is not a hunting photo…..Briton Alex Larenty lives on a game reserve in South Africa and spends his days giving lions foot massages. One day, he discovered that every time a lion was applied a cream to cure an infection on its paws, the lion would slacken and appear to smile. Since then, he has massaged all the lions in the park on a daily basis. Thanks to the pampering, he created a bond such that just by seeing him arrive, the lions lie down, begin to stretch their legs and smile. With love and respect, all relationships are possible!