Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

A Fond Farewell To Bella and Simba

© Cheryl Mvula

On 31st October, we said goodbye to our iconic lions Bella and Simba. 

Their health had been in decline for some time, and despite excellent care and treatment by our friends at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi, we all agreed that the range of health problems these lions were facing had become too much. After much deliberation, and with Bella and Simba’s best interests as the priority, we made the sad decision to put them to sleep.

We had recently sent our consultant vet John Knight to examine Bella and Simba – you can read his observations and his thoughts here.

Virginia McKenna OBE said: “These two beautiful animals will always be alive in our hearts. I shall never forget travelling with each of them on their journeys to Malawi, knowing that kind, caring people would be there for them until the final moment came. And so it was. I am so grateful to all the people who helped us rescue Bella and Simba and give them  a happy life- one they truly deserved.”

Born Free, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust and our partners and sponsors are proud to have been able to give Bella and Simba a good quality of life for so long, away from the cruelty they experienced in their early life. These lions stood for so much that we work to highlight – the need to expose the futility and cruelty of zoos and circuses, the inevitable problems that can come from a life in captivity, the need for excellence in rescue and animal care, and the amazing resilience and dignity of animals who have been through so much. We thank everyone who have supported them over the years, especially the Olsen Animal Trust, David Walker and Natuurhulpcentrum Opglabbeek.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906


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