Morgan’s Diary – November 18, 2016
I slept great last night after my travels and excitement of arriving here at the Love Lions Alive Sanctuary. I was up early this morning to help Line and Tale as I work with them around the sanctuary. It was quite cold this morning and very foggy. We started the day by going to get sand and small rocks to mix for cement for the water holes in the enclosures. Once we gathered that and dropped it off near the water holes we went and collected meat on the back of the truck to feed to the older lions. We had legs of a cow for the bigger lions and ribs for Carl. We drove around to each enclosure, stopping first at Mela’s. I helped Line throw it up and over the fence. Mela came over and bit down on the meat and then dragged it back into some higher grass to feed. Then we headed to Mandla and Isibindi’s enclosure. We threw it up over the fence at the top of the enclosure and I could see them making their way up the hill to the meat. Then we gave Natasha, Moya and Sasha their meat. It was interesting to see them feed because Natasha is the head of those three, so she gets first pick of the meat, then the other two come and feed on what is left.
with one another. This was so cool to see because this is what they do in the wild. They usually share after a catch and eat together. Then Andi joined us and we all helped to give Carl his antibiotic shot as he was sick last week from bacteria. With the antibiotics, he is better than ever! He plays and eats as normal. Then I helped feed the two small lions, Odin and Mulan and gave them water by a bottle. They absolutely love feeding time and come right up into your lap ready to take the bottle.
One big project Line, Tale and I worked on today was getting a big tent put back up near the kitchen area on the mountain. We connected smaller wooden planks in between the four corners and then after quite a while finally got the tent to fit over the wood and screwed in so that it won’t blow away from wind. Then we cleaned up the whole area and moved the fire place. It was a great feeling accomplishing this project with these two amazing women. Line and Tale are such strong women, and it felt great to work as a team with them and get this done today! When we took a break for lunch we called for Odin and Mulan who came sleepily out from underneath the deck. They were so tired, as it was the afternoon and they wanted to nap. Tale sat with Odin while he sucked on her finger. Then she got up to make lunch and handed Odin to me. So, I held Odin for around 20 minutes and he just curled up in my lap and sucked my finger and dozed off every once in a while, and then would wake himself up and keep sucking. It was such a cozy experience. Of course, Mulan would want some love and attention every now and again, so she’d come and sit in my lap or rub her head along my legs.
Once we finished with the tent and clearing the area it was already getting into evening time. I was sitting outside of my room reading a book and I could hear Mela in the enclosure talking. She would give these low sounds from deep within her stomach as if she was talking. I went over and sat outside her enclosure to chat back with her and take a few photos of her. She is such an elegant creature and honestly just wants love. I met these sisters and their husbands from the UK that are staying here for the night and they were very nice. I joined them for a braai (South African bbq) and we talked throughout the evening. Andi and Martin joined us and we all had a great time chatting with one another. There were also two girl volunteers that arrived tonight who I will meet tomorrow when they join us for work. I cannot wait to get up and start my day tomorrow doing whatever tasks that need to be done. It doesn’t feel like work when you know that everything you do is in some relation to helping the lions. These lions have come from horrific backgrounds and would have had a shorter future if it weren’t for this sanctuary. Now all the lions are happy and healthy, living out their lives here with the respect, trust and love they deserve.
Lööf Foundation representative