You can understand, I am sure, why Ciam has such anxious eyes. Only two and a half years old, he has already had THREE homes. Born in a French circus, he was taken from his mother when just a cub. Then sold as a ‘pet’, he was kept illegally in a back garden in a tiny cage. For seven horrifying months he never left this ramshackle ‘home’.
With barely room to turn around, all day every day this was Ciam’s cramped and lonely world. It is heart-breaking to think how he suffered. A lion should live with his family on Africa’s vast savannahs. Not, like Ciam, cooped up on his own, gazing through the rusty wire.
But in 2015 hope beckoned when French authorities intervened, with the animal organisation F30MA*. Ciam was moved to a temporary refuge, Natuurhulpcentrum (‘Nature Help Centre’) in Belgium. This wonderful rescue centre specialises in rescuing native birds and mammals. But they simply don’t have the space to care for a lion longterm.
Today Ciam is beautiful as you can see. But, not surprisingly, he looks unsure and apprehensive. I wish I could tell him everything is going to be alright.
Because we have a magical plan for sweet-natured Ciam. We want to give him a ‘forever home’. And not just ‘any’ home. We want to take him to paradise. To Shamwari, our big cat sanctuary in South Africa. Our centre was 20 years old in March. Twenty years of rescued lions and leopards. I can’t think of a more appropriate way to celebrate, can you? We also want to take a second lion, Nelson, home to Africa (Meet Nelson here).
Will you help ensure Ciam and Nelson have a long and happy life at Shamwari? Your gift will help our dream become a reality. And that’s not all, we might even have a possible companion in mind for lonely Ciam. Our plans are explained here.
My warmest thanks
Virginia McKenna OBE
Founder and Trustee