Dolo is a rescued lion under our care at our Ensessa Kotteh Wildlife Rescue & Education Centre in Ethiopia.
Before he was rescued, Dolo was kept on a one metre chain in a wooden shack for four years. Emaciated and alone, his mane was rubbed off by the chain. He was rescued by Born Free and the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority in 2007 and lived at a temporary facility in Ethiopia’s Awash National Park before moving to his permanent home at Ensessa Kotteh in March 2011.
Dolo has retinal atrophy, probably due to a nutritional deficiency when young, and this has left him with very limited vision. Despite this, he soon settled in to his spacious, safe and natural enclosure at Ensessa Kotteh. A few months later he was introduced to Safia, a young lioness rescued by Born Free from southern Ethiopia. They now happily share an enclosure.
“Dolo’s favoured hiding place is under the largest bush in his enclosure,” explains Maggie Balaskas, Born Free’s Animal Rescue & Care Manager. “He has even managed to wear away some of the underbrush, leaving himself a perfectly Dolo-shaped space to lie in!”
Dolo adopters help fund his lifetime care, including food, health checks and enclosure upkeep.
Ensessa Kotteh (which means animal footprint in Amharic) is home to many more rescued wild animals, just like Dolo and Sofia, including cheetahs, servals, caracals, hyenas, monkeys and birds. Located just 30km from, Addis Ababa, Ensessa Kotteh houses wild animals in need – orphaned or confiscated from illegal trade or ownership.
Each animal that arrives at Ensessa Kotteh is carefully assessed to see whether full rehabilitation and release back to the wild is feasible. Those that cannot be released are provided with lifetime care, such as Dolo.
The centre also offers education programmes to teach local schoolchildren about nature, wildlife and human-wildlife co-existence.