Lifestyle, Travel

Lion Heart

Lions are my favourite animals. I think they are absolutely exquisite. They’re majestic and regal and have the most wonderful eyes. I could gush on forever.

Sox took his mom, dad and I to the Drakenstein Lion Park yesterday afternoon.

It was a welcome break from my move and unpacking boxes.

It’s the only genuine lion sanctuary in the Western Cape. It has rescued Lions either from canned hunting, from circuses or from abusive situations. They come in from all over the world and the park provides the lions with a sanctuary where they can live carefree and be treated with compassion and respect.

The sanctuary has just recently homed Chimps in the Chimps Haven. The facility was built to help the animals who were displaced by the closure of the Tygerberg Zoo.

We were taken through the lion sanctuary and my heart literally broke as we heard the stories of where these lions had come from. Everything from being abused in circus’ to being bred for canned hunting. I honestly do not understand how human beings can get pleasure out of hurting an animal for “sport” or for “entertainment” or for “greed.”

The Lion who stole my heart was Brutus – he is normally quite shy and hides away, but there he was lying out in a small patch of sunshine. He was in a circus, where they abused him so badly they broke his jaw and his face never healed properly. He is shy and insecure because his face is deformed. As we came closer he kept turning his head so that we wouldn’t see him.

I just kept telling him how beautiful he was and kept sending thoughts of love his way. I have no idea if that could do anything but it just felt right.

Here he is… he would never look in our direction and if he did he quickly turned his head again.

I can’t stop thinking about him. It’s really affected me.

Sorry to depress you like this… Every lion has a sad story, but at least it’s not a sad ending and that’s the most important part.

You can even adopt a lion for a year – it’s R1000 a year that provides food, medical bills and anything else that lion could need. Read more here

I kept saying to Sox (only half joking) that the fences were getting in the way of my photography… until they roared. It wasn’t even a menacing roar, just simple communication with one another, but my heart nearly stopped and I’ve never been so grateful for the fences. Powerful.

 I also love the White Lions… they are incredible.

They also have Tigers who are just as beautiful and powerful.

We also happened to witness these two getting it on (a few times)…

When it was all over, she literally rolled over and if she could have lit a cigarette, I think she might have. It was hilarious.

This male who was in the enclosure next door was extremely curious… I love his face

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