I know, I’ve been quiet. With some of the sad events going on in my world since I last wrote – the relentless butchering of wildlife in Africa for the ivory and rhino horn trade, the horrific tragedy of the attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, and the atrocity of the misguided badger cull in England – I’ve been unable to find the positivity to write anything light-hearted or amusing. And I always said when I began the blog, if there wasn’t something fun or uplifting to write, it was probably better not to write at all.
But some of you will remember I did write about the plight of some circus lions I came across in France in the summer. I wonder where those poor animals are now, as winter begins to creep across the continent? I can only hope that one day the situation will change, and caged, performing animals will become a thing of the past. Following my blog entry, I was contacted by Virginia McKenna of the Born Free Foundation and she promised to mention ‘my’ lions at a meeting she was due to attend about circus animals and their predicaments.
In the meantime, just to share a glimmer of hope and light for two lions not unlike the ones I met, here’s a heart-warming story from her, I thought I’d share… I hope these lions do soon get to share their days with the African sun on their backs, finally living a life worth living…
Extract of a letter from Virginia McKenna:
…Simba was born in a French zoo in 2005, then sold to an animal trainer in France. For seven horrifying years, he lived alone in a rusty ‘beast wagon’. This was Simba’s world. Barely room to stand up or turn around. Only occasionally allowed into a tiny ‘exercise’ cage, so his trailer could be cleaned out. Imagine Simba’s frustration, cooped up in his miserable cage on his own, gazing bleakly through the rusty wire. But last year hope beckoned. With the help of a French animal organisation F30MA*, eight-year old Simba was moved to temporary accommodation at a wildlife refuge in Belgium. However, it was just a stopgap solution.( *Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis)
Simba needs a permanent home. We want to take him to Africa, to his ancestral homeland. But that’s not all. We have SOMEONE very special in mind too! We rescued this affectionate lioness from a squalid zoo in Romania, back in 2009. She had endured long, freezing winters, was blind in one eye, and her spine and back legs were crippled. Her beloved mate and cubs had died. We thought Bella deserved better and arranged for our friends at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi to give her a home. Today she enjoys the sights and sounds of wild Africa.
How amazing it would be to give Simba a new home and expert care for the rest of his life! What a privilege to find a friend for Bella! Let’s make up for the past. Let’s give them a new life they can share…
If you’d like to read more about this lion appeal, here’s the Born Free Foundation website address – I really admire the foundation for all their work on behalf of wild animals.