Lions David and Easy have been enchanting the whole human population at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, as their bond has grown closer, and they follow each other around the habitat. We love that when they travel up to the end of the habitat, if David is in front, he stops and waits for Easy to catch up. When Easy moves off to explore, she will wait for David, and they do an affectionate head bump.
Sometimes you want your own space! ROLEX (10 years) and sisters AFRICA (10) and KIARA (15), rescued from a circus in Peru, have made it clear they like things as they are! In their shared home at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, they enjoy sitting and even sleeping close to each other on opposite sides of the fence, but don’t want to live in the same space. Although we were able to get the lions together a few times, it was clear that Africa and Kiara are just too close for another to join their group. We are pleased we explored this for several weeks and now understand the relationship the lions like. So, we will split the habitat into two; they can all enjoy a main habitat, platforms, dens, a feeding camp, and night house. They will be right next to each other and can communicate, maybe rub through the fence if they want, but in their own space.
SPECIAL APPEAL – can you donate to give Rolex his own pad, next to his sisters?
The process of bringing IRON and BUMBA who were rescued from the same circus in Colombia is underway – previously they were each living at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary with other lions from that circus who have passed away. Initially, The process has been paused this week with Bumba taken into hospital where he has had a small tumour on his lip removed successfully.Continue reading
Thanks to everyone who was rooting for this lioness from a circus in Colombia and lion from a circus in Peru to find companionship together at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. We think you will agree that this is the very definition of a very handsome couple!
Watch the moment when we really knew that David and Easy would make it as companions at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s not very good phone footage but captures a key interaction after we had united them. After being brought together we had then released them into the main, almost 4-acre, Camo Habitat. They had been exploring together and we found them in the long grass at the very far end of the habitat in the morning. We wondered if they would stick together or drift apart, seeking each other out occasionally?
As the sun set we saw David heading back from the habitat. At first, we thought he was alone, then we saw Easy following. He trotted up onto the platform we made from an old water reservoir. We were so familiar with the silhouettes of Easy and sister Shakira (who passed away from cancer last year) up there but had not seen David and Easy up there together. Easy paused and then followed him.
After sitting in the fading rays of the sun for a while David decided it was time for bed. He tried to get Easy up but she ignored him and he headed off. As soon as he was gone Easy stood up, looked for him, and then jumped down after him, quickening her pace. You can also see that David turns around and comes back, as if to say “please come too!” They headed into the house for the night and slept in the same room together, and that’s where we found them in the morning at sunrise. We haven’t seen them snuggled up together, but they are always close to each other, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship and companionship for two of our lonely hearts lions.
Rolex was rescued from a circus in Peru and now lives at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary (ADIWS) in South Africa (home to lions and tigers rescued from circuses in Peru, Colombia and Guatemala – after those countries banned animals in circuses). He was rescued with brothers Chino and Coco and in the ADI Temporary Rescue Unit in Peru, the three were inseparable. Sadly, at a facility that held the lions in South Africa before they moved to ADIWS the boys became aggressive and fell out, and Rolex has been alone since. Chino and Coco are still together at ADIWS. Rolex is currently part of our Operation Lonely Hearts program to unite him with his sisters Kiara and Africa. Although from the same circus they have never lived together.Continue reading
Recently united, sharing the same space, David and Easy have been enjoying their 4-acre Camo Habitat at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. They stay closely together as they patrol the habitat; usually with David leading and regularly stopping to check if Easy is close by. It has been very moving to see them sitting together on top of the water tank we converted into a den, because it was such a familiar sight when we used to see Easy and sister Shakira (who passed away with cancer) in the same spot. Easy and David now follow each other into their house to sleep together. Lions are social animals and this is not about romance, but companionship – and of course the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary does not allow breeding – we are all so delighted that these two lions (rescued from different circuses in Peru and Colombia) are no longer alone.
Awesome. Kiara 2 striding through the grass in Davis Habitat at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. The mighty lionesses are the mothers and hunters that hold prides together. Kiara lives with sister Africa both rescued from a circus in Peru after a dramatic chase through the desert near Piura. The circus was defying the country’s ban on animal circuses and had been in hiding for almost 8 months when ADI finally tracked them down.
Kiara and Africa are currently in a programme at ADIWS to unite them with brother Rolex from the same circus.
Kiara has a cataract in her left eye that is bein monitored by our veterinarian.
Yes, David and Easy, the first of our Lonely Hearts Lions, are together. The door between their rooms in their house at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa was slowly opened and the two lions rubbed heads and then walked out to their feeding camp. It has been a slow and careful process, where David, rescued from a circus in Peru, and Easy, rescued from a circus in Colombia, have been brought close to each other and received a spray of the hormone to encourage feelings of friendship towards each other. Both were very gentle and respectful of each other, with David edging closer and closer to Easy. For a day, Easy seemed to feign disinterest in David – she didn’t seem too impressed when he started to show off, even seeming to do pull-ups! But if he walked away, she would immediately go to find him. We have been monitoring them around the clock and they have been sleeping in the same night room. Today, it is clear they have bonded as friends. They are no longer alone.Continue reading
Easy gets a squirt in the nose which could bring companionship. As part of the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary lion introduction work (bringing together animals currently living alone), Jessica Burkhart from the University of Minnesota, is using a nasal spray of a natural hormone, oxytocin, often called the “love hormone”. This hormone is involved in childbirth, breast-feeding and is associated with feelings of empathy, trust and relationship-building – is released when lions rub heads, for example. This treatment enhances natural hormones, and has already had success in lion, tiger and cheetah introductions. The process increases the likelihood of animals making new friends – although it can’t make animals who do not like each other, get along.
Over the past weeks, David and Easy have been getting treats and enrichment from Jessica, and the lions seem to barely notice the squirt up their nose while they are distracted with a treat. Easy lost her sister Shakira (who was rescued from the same circus in Colombia) and we are in the process of her being united with David (who was rescued from a circus in Peru). We are also hoping to join up Rolex and sisters Kiara and Africa, and Bumba with Iron, as they both lost their friends. We are calling the project Operation Lonely Hearts! To avoid confusion – this is not a drug and is not related in any way to drugs with “oxy” in the name!
Lions are the most social of all the cat species, they need the companionship of their own kind. So last year when Bumba and Iron lost their lifelong friends Zeus and OJ (Ojiclaro) it was a devastating blow. We are now working to bring these two warriors together at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.Continue reading