But we were the cub’s only chance of survival. We couldn’t let him down. Stephen’s right-hand man Bereket Girma built a special crate to transport the young lion. Our consultant vet Dr Rea Tschopp cancelled all other work, while the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority assigned one of their vets to accompany us.
Kebri Dehar is 647 miles (1007km) from our rescue centre. Far too far to drive. And far too difficult. So we arranged a special deal to charter a small plane to get us in and out. This would minimise risk, even though the area only has a dirt landing strip.
So, taking our courage in our hands we went and got the lion cub. Kebri’s rescue was complicated, fraught and harrowing. We had to remove seats from the little plane to fit the crate in. The flight was horrendous with constant turbulence. Kebri was terrified. Stephen and his team had an exhausting and almost impossibly demanding day.
But we’ve got him. Kebri is bewildered and needs lots of nursing, but he is home safe! We’ve brought him to our rescue centre, near Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. I say home. But we’ve got nowhere to put the cub.
We’ve raised no money to feed him. Or to care for him. Or to build him a home. So, now you know why I am writing. Why I’ve come to you cap-in-hand.
This appeal is back to front. I should have asked you to help us raise the money BEFORE we rescued the cub. But there was no time. There was almost literally a gun against his head. So now, just a few days later, I’m writing to ask you to help us.
We acted on impulse. Our instinct is to try help when an animal is in trouble. To dive in and do something is the Born Free way. You know us well enough to understand!
This report explains more about our plans for Kebri. Please, will you help make them a reality? Please, give what you can to give the cub with nowhere to go a home.
And it’s not just this lion cub. As our rescue centre in Ethiopia becomes more established it’s receiving more and more requests for help. Only last month FOUR orphan cheetah cubs arrived at the centre. They were rescued in Somaliland and we need to care for them as well… Again the report explains more.