As the sun sets over Camo Habitat at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, you can be sure that either David or Easy (whoever is in the main habitat) is gazing over towards the other lion. We believe Operation Lonely Hearts to bring the lions together is making good progress! We hope that the lions, David from a circus in Peru and Easy from a circus in Colombia, will be together in the coming weeks.
It is hard to believe that when ADI rescued David, he was frightened to leave the bare circus cage he had been born in and it took hours to coax him out. At the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, magnificent 10-year-old David has grown in stature and confidence.
Until last year, 16-year old Easy was inseparable from her sister Shakira. As the ravages of circus life steadily caught up with Shakira, Easy would eagerly greet her sister after every hospital trip. But sadly, Shakira passed away with cancer.
Now, David and Easy are taking it in turns to be in the main (4-acre enclosure) or in the 7,000sq ft feeding camp. They eat next to each other in separate rooms of the house.
Jessica Burkhart of Minnesota University has been spending hours with the lions observing their interactions, using positive enrichment and treats. She uses a natural hormone to positively enhance the encounters between the lions. This is sprayed into the lion’s noses as they take treats.
So far, all of the interactions have been very good and the lions will often sit as close as possible watching each other. We want to give David and Easy every advantage in the process of becoming companions and are looking forward to these two lonely hearts becoming one.
Please note: Our lionesses are sterilised so there will not be breeding. True sanctuaries provide homes for animals in need and do not breed and deliberately perpetuate captivity.