• Toddler has adorable reaction to a lion pawing at her from behind a glass enclosure

    By: Kelly McCarthy, ABC News

    Updated:

    A mother and her young daughter are officially internet stars after their up-close-and-personal encounter with a large white lion.

    When Caity Finley brought her 14-month-old daughter Josie to Tiger World -- a wildlife preserve for endangered and threatened species in Rockwell, North Carolina -- she never expected the rare wildcat to become “obsessed” with her baby.

    “Josie loved it when the lion jumped on the glass and my reaction was the same,” Finley told ABC News. “I’ve always seen something like that online and now it's with my child and it's great.”

    Finley's boyfriend, Michael Hastings, took a video of the Timbavati White Lion eagerly pawing at and licking the glass that separated him from Josie.

    “I was shocked at first by how curious the lion was,” Hastings said. “Then I was excited that Josie got to experience such a wild interaction with him.”

    At one point the lion stood on his hind legs, towering over Finley and her daughter.

    Finley said Josie babbled “awww” to the lion upon seeing him so closely.


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    While Josie may be too young to understand what happened, Finley said “it will be awesome” to show this video to her when she's older.

    Information from ABC News was used in this report.

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