It’s said that opposites attract, and for Cameron the lion and Zabu the white tiger, this timeless adage rings true. The unlikely pair first met in the early 2000s while residing at a roadside zoo in New England—an unfortunate place for the two creatures—but they were both rescued in 2004 and subsequently relocated to the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida where they're known as the “resident odd couple.”
Upon saving Cameron and Zabu, Big Cat Rescue saw the special relationship they shared and knew they had to be kept together. “When Zabu and Cameron were rescued, we constructed a large natural enclosure for the two of them to share since they are truly bonded as a couple,” they explained. To ensure this was a safe partnership—for both the cats and their caretakers—the rescue spayed Zabu and neutered Cameron. This caused him to lose his majestic mane, but it allowed him to remain happy and close to his love. “He seems much more comfortable in the hot Florida summers,” Big Cat Rescue also remarked, “without the extra 15 pounds of fur around his neck.”
The two now have lives that resemble that of a house cat. They play with their favorite toys, enjoy lounging in the sun and rolling around in the grass. Zabu can even act like a kitten, according to the rescue. “While Cameron tries to sleep most of the day away (as lions do in the wild), Zabu is extremely energetic and is always pestering him to play.” To keep her content, Cameron showers her with gentle cuddles as well as affectionate licks and nuzzles.
Learn more about Cameron and Zabu’s incredible story in the video below.
Cameron before his mane disappeared:
But with or without his luscious locks, Zabu loves him all the same: