Lions of lyon: one month on


It’s been a month since the Lions of Lyon – Horus, Dadou, Cersei and Thea – arrived at our big cat sanctuary at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, in South Africa.

“The cubs are growing every day and look fabulous”, Glen Vena, Born Free’s Animal Care Manager, said. “I can confidently say they have adapted very well to their new home. They are on a full adult diet now, and very playful.” 

Their personalities and confidence will continue to grow in the months to come, but Horus is still the most dominant one, while Dadou is more submissive. However, it seems the girls are more inquisitive and adventurous than the boys. Cersei commands a presence and is always the first to try something new. Thea remains the smallest, but according to Vena: “She eats like a big lion, and does not play with her food.”

Thanks to your generous support, the Lions of Lyon are healthy, happy and safe. They have the freedom to explore their enclosure, run around and play together. They have the sun on their backs and grass beneath their paws. It’s a far cry from the exotic pet trade and life in an apartment or garage. These four cubs are fortunate, but others will be less so.

Dr Chris Draper, Born Free’s Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity, said: “The trade in wild animals as pets is a global concern. Every day, vast numbers of wild animals are subjected to a life of misery and exploitation, and every day many wild animals die in the trade. While we are delighted that the Lions of Lyon were rescued and that we could offer them a home, we must continue to work to help the huge numbers of wild animals who are less fortunate and face life and death as exotic pets.”

Thank you for giving Horus, Dadou, Cersei and Thea a new home and a fresh start in life.