Miki the Lion and Camila the Dog ‘Shake Hands’ — But What’s Really Happening?

This is one of those rare stories that makes your heart melt, proves a point, and educates a little at the same time. Miki the lion and Camila the dog never thought they’d be famous on the internet… But when a GIF of the two shaking hands went viral earlier this year, that’s exactly what happened.

It turns out though that the pair both call the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation home. Located in Mexico, the organization rescues big cats from all over the world and gives them a safe place to live.

Check it out from Live Science:

In a brief video scene that has already charmed thousands, a pair of unlikely animal companions — a dog and a lion — appear to be shaking hands… or paws.

A GIF shared to Reddit yesterday (Jan. 28) shows a dog and a white lion in an enclosure. The lion saunters up to the tail-wagging dog, scoops up the canine’s right paw and cups it briefly, then nudges the much-smaller foot with his muzzle before releasing it.

Since it was posted, the GIF has received 132,000 up-votes and nearly 2,000 comments. But what’s the story behind this interspecies “handshake?”

The lion and dog are Miki and Camila, and are in the care of the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation (BJWT), a nonprofit based in Mexico that rescues and houses large cats and other wildlife, according to the organization’s website.

The footage was shot by Instagram user @toyquest101, who shared it in a post on that platform on Jan. 27, mentioning that the two animals “grew up together.”

And here’s some facts about the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation, per their website:

Currently, with the help of devoted friends and millions of loyal followers around the world, the Foundation has rescued and cares for over 295 (And counting) Big Felines including Lions, Jaguars, Tigers, Leopards, Lynxes, Pumas and Servals from a life of abuse in circuses, zoos and breeders, both legal and illegal ones. The Foundation has also rescued more than 60 Dogs, mostly from the street.

We are a Foundation that thinks outside the box. We will never breed our rescued Animals if we are not going to be able to re-introduce them into their natural habitat. So based on this idea, since they were born and currently live in semi-captivity, we have found out that the more Animals living together in one group, the happier they are, regardless of the species. So we have Prides that go from three individuals up to sixteen, and certain groups have members from different species that Love and respect each other.

Here’s the GIF of the tiger and dog shaking hands… Enjoy!

What’s the coolest example of interspecies
bonding you’ve witnessed?