Some of you may be aware of the recent story, on our Facebook page, regarding a single lion cub, about 5 months old that was caught in a trap and relocated to Moholoholo Rehab with her siblings still in the bush facing certain death. We are pleased to inform everyone that the 2 cubs we were waiting for have now been relocated to the rehab and have been reunited with their sister. With further investigation the story becomes graver. A cattle farmer losing stock to a pride of lions gained a permit for their execution. 8 lions were shot before he realised that the 3 cubs were now without their mother and any hope for a future. Feeling the weight of his decision to cull these lions he contacted Brian to ask for his assistance and the traps were set. It is important to remember that this issue is a double edged sword with farmers and industry on one side needing to make a profit and provide a service and on the other is the ever diminishing habitat on the wildlife of Africa. These lions, forced into close contacts with humans due to habitat encroachment are fighting for survival. It’s sad that with all advancements in technology and industry, we as humans still can’t find a way to balance our needs and that of wildlife. So who is it that suffers? The wildlife! These lions would never have been forced into this position had they had a source of game to kill.
The three lion cubs, all females, were recently sedated for TB testing. Following the not so recent but ever present deaths of our two ambassador cheetahs, Jolly and Juba, no precaution is overlooked. Our students had their hands full as all three lions had to be sedated at once. This meant three teams; one team doing the weights, one team doing the tests, and the other doing the treatments. The students were enthralled to have had such a close encounter with these lion cubs whilst the tests were being done. The final results were negative!!! They are now at 6 months and taking comfort in each other’s company and thriving!