A 5-year-old male lion at an Oklahoma zoo with the name Bonedigger might sound intimidating, but looks and name can be deceiving. It turns out that he is a real softy, making an unusual friendship with a pack of small, dachshund dogs.

One of them, Milo, even plays personal toothpick, cleaning Bonedigger’s teeth.

Lion Bonedigger and Dachshund Milo Make Unlikely Friends at Oklahoma Zoo

Bonedigger and Milo (Image: Barcroft TV/YouTube screenshot)

According to a News OK in-depth story, Bonedigger was bottle fed as a cub because he had a calcium deficiency that was crippling to his growth — hence the otherwise intimidating name. The lion first became friends with John Reinke, a man who lost both legs in a bungee jumping accident and later came to the G.W. Exotic Animal Park where he found comfort helping rescued large animals.

Lion Bonedigger and Dachshund Milo Make Unlikely Friends at Oklahoma Zoo

Bonedigger, Reinke and the dogs (Image: Barcroft TV/YouTube screenshot)

While Bonedigger was still a cub he became friends with the dachshunds as well.

Lion Bonedigger and Dachshund Milo Make Unlikely Friends at Oklahoma Zoo

Bonedigger and Milo in 2009. (Photo: Nichole Samms)

Lion Bonedigger and Dachshund Milo Make Unlikely Friends at Oklahoma Zoo

(Photo: Nichole Samms)

Watch the dogs and Bonedigger interact in this video, which seems to be missing its “Fox and the Hound” Disney theme song:

Here’s another feature video from a couple years ago showing Reinke interacting with the animals at the zoo and talking about his relationship with Bonedigger:

(H/T: Daily Mail)

This story has been updated to include more photos courtesy a Blaze reader. 

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