They need their own kind

As Valentine’s week comes to an end, it seems appropriate to celebrate the incredible loyalty and love lions shows for each other. Our hearts broke last week when dear Iron passed away, the comfort for many being he was once again with his beloved OJ (Ojiclaro) again. The pair had been through hell together in a Colombia circus. Their battered faces looked close to defeat in their cramped circus cage the day ADI rescued them. But their spirit was not broken and were soon looking regal again in the basic, temporary rescue unit we had in Bucaramanga.

Their happiest times were undoubtedly at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, enjoying the huge Antonia Habitat. We opened up two old farm buildings and the boys would wander in and out their den, as they pleased. OJ was always watching over Iron. If people came too close to his friend, he would quietly get up, walk the humans to the corner of the habitat and then return to Iron. And these boys could really roar! After OJ passed away we tried to unite Iron with Bumba (rescued from the same circus) but Iron seemed uninterested in bonding. OJ had been his friend for life.

Although we all feel the sadness of their passing, please enjoy these pictures and celebrate the friendship of two lions who crossed the world to grow old together in Africa.

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