On arrival at the sanctuary in March, members of the park invited the couple to a walk through the various lion and cheetah enclosures, Krugersdorp News reported.
“I was so amazed at how connected Craig Busch, also known as the Lion Man, is to his animals,” Snyman said.
On this brief tour of the park, she had the opportunity to spend time in nature and get close to the wild animals she is so fond of.
At the end of their surprise tour Busch asked her if she would like to feed the giraffe while the men fetched the “parts” they came for.
Upon their return, Busch asked the couple if they would like meet one last special lion, Thembi, as part of the television series he was busy filming for Animal Planet on DStv.
“We decided to participate, as it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Snyman laughed.
She and Barnard were blindfolded and led to the lion.
“I was a bit nervous at first – more about appearing on TV than being in a lion’s enclosure blindfolded.”
When her blindfold was taken off, Barnard was on his knee, asking her hand in marriage with the white lion in the background as witness.
“I was speechless. It was so amazing. Obviously I said yes.”
To her surprise the visit to Magaliesburg was not to pick up any parts but to get engaged.
The couple was spoiled with an overnight stay at the sanctuary and enjoyed delicious food and the good company of the world-famous Lion Man.
The special love story aired on The Lion Man: One World on Tuesday on Animal Planet.
“It was such a great pleasure to be part of the special engagement of the young couple beside Thembi, the great white lion. What a special moment,” said Busch.
– Caxton News Service