Thank you for choosing to support Born Free’s work to give four former circus lions a sanctuary forever home.
Thanks to your support, we have a new update from our Animal Care Manager at Shamwari, Glen Vena, who says: “The Lions of Lockdown seem to be continuing to settle well as they have explored and scent marked their enclosure on many occasions.
“Bellone is very relaxed and seems to be well recovered, in terms of temperament, from her difficult past. Angela, on the other hand, is more alert and likely to growl in a defensive manner.
“Louga, the only male in the group, can often be seen surrounded by his girls – it is amazing how they seem to care for him so much. Saïda is still dominant however, to the point that even Louga takes a step back from her sometimes.
“I always tell visitors Louga’s story and they are shocked to learn that he doesn’t have a mane because he was castrated at a young age by his former owner to make him ‘easier to handle’. Speaking to visitors lets them understand why these animals do not belong in zoos or circuses, but Louga is still a stunning lion who is no lesser for his lack of mane.”
Louga also made a big impact on Born Free’s Rescue and Care Officer, Flo Blackbourn, who recently visited Shamwari and was lucky enough to see Louga during her trip. She says: “I saw Louga ‘in person’ when I visited The Julie Ward Centre at the Shamwari Private Game Reserve in June 2022.
“The enclosure shared by all four Lions of Lockdown is large and full of shrubs and bushes which keep them well hidden from view. Because of this, I only saw Louga very briefly when he chose to venture out from behind some shrubs, seeming curious as to what was happening as he could hear our movement.
“He very calmly sauntered out and watched us from a few metres away, allowing himself to be in full view. He seemed intrigued and not agitated or nervous, as you may expect from a lion who has spent years being used by people for entertainment. It is amazing that after all he had been through he was finally able to see humans without the fear that must have come with it for so many years.
“When he was happy with what was going on he turned slowly and returned to the bushes to spend the rest of his day with his lion friends out of view. He must finally feel relaxed and at home, knowing that he is free to live a life worth living, free from harm.”
All four lions are doing great, BUT we still need your help to raise vital funds to support their lifetime care at our sanctuary, and give them the nutritious food, veterinary treatment, and enrichment they deserve – will you continue your support with a gift today?
Thank you so much from the Born Free team.
The lions at their sanctuary home