One morning during my stay we left a stuffed sack, smeared with duiker poo, just along her pathway, after we had cleaned the indoor enclosure. As soon as the door was re-opened, her head was raised high as she sniffed the air and she made her way over to investigate the new scent. She immediately grabbed the sack and headed off into her forested area, pausing occasionally to push the sack around and paw at its contents. She moved it around to several different places while we were watching, to our delight, as it certainly encouraged her to use a larger area than she does regularly. When I went in to retrieve the sack next day, in the hopes of refilling it with something different for the next time, there was very little of it left intact – which was actually even better than we hoped! Although it means a constant supply of bags will be needed, she obviously had spent several hours pulling it apart!!
Bella has now trimmed down a little, following the vet’s instructions, and this it is hoped, will assist her movement which is slightly hampered by her poorly-formed hind legs, caused by her previous care in Romania. Certainly she appears to be blissfully relaxed in her surroundings, and the one addition we would like to see for her would be a companion for permanent company in, or next to, her enclosure. But that’s the next project for Bella…!!
This is posted no other reason than showing you some pictures of a happy lioness!
Volunteer Anna has been encouraging her to ‘get active’ as part of a new enrichment regime following the news from her recent check up that she needs to lose a little weight. She loves to run up and down the side of her enclosure chasing various ‘enrichment’ items. Recently a gold bag had her extremely excited!
Here she is relaxing after a good work out:
After watching Bella rolling around on the ground and along the fence for a good scratch, volunteer Nick decided that a stiff bristled broom might be just the job to help her with those ‘hard to reach’ spots. Nick has been working on carnivore enrichment alongside animal carer Gabi (pictured below), and the broom was definitely this week’s highlight. However Bella had other ideas on exactly how she should use her new toy – as a toothbrush! She played along for about an hour, growling and purring in satisfaction, with a little rest in between.
If you’re interested in volunteering as part of the animal care team at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
All images © Lilongwe Wildlife Centre (LLWC)