Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Brothers

One of the things I love about coming back to Harnas on a regular basis is being able to watch animals grow up from little babies to juvenile to full adulthood. I've been lucky enough to do it with many animals I've loved--Jakob the baboon (whose tail was cut off by its owner as a baby because she didn't want to cut holes in his diapers), Pride the cheetah (who is a star here at Harnas--raised by hand but now hunting for herself and 2 cubs in the Lifeline area), and the Brothers are just a few of examples.

The Brothers are a group of 3 lions who were born here on Harnas--sons of Macho and Simba. I got to meet them as babies in December of 2008 when they were just a few months old. How adorable they were, tumbling over each other in the grass, stalking anything that moved, and making everyone howl with laughter over their awkward antics. (see pic 1)

I visited again in January of 2010 and stayed for 3 months. They had grown so much were still so gentle. In fact, they became know as gentlmen--never bringing their claws out or jumping people the way their younger siblings from a later litter did. They'd sit and let me pet them, never complaining when over and over I'd be driven to hug them like in this photo. We'd take them for walks, and they always walked along placidly, accepting drinks of water from my water bottle when offered.

Last Christmas when I visited they had been moved to a large enclosure of their own. They were reaching sexual maturity, and with male lions, that is when they can become dangerous. They still came to the fence, though, rubbing their heads on it and making appealing whining noises. It was hard not to jump inside and hug them.

And now--oh now! I saw them today on the outside feeding tour. Their manes are coming in and they are magnificent--full lions who have become kings. They still seem tame, though. Unlike other lions, they don't fight for the meat thrown over the fence. They seem to say to each other, "You take the first piece, my brother!" "No, you go ahead. I got the first one yesterday." "Okay, but only if you're sure." "Please, I insist."

Gentlemen still!

1 comment:

  1. You summed them up quite nicely....magnificent!