Morgan’s Diary – December 1, 2016
Today was a little bittersweet for me as it was my last day doing work here as a volunteer, as tomorrow I will be packing and preparing for my trip back to Sweden on Saturday. Today was extremely hot and all of us working definitely felt the heat. I worked on the deck for Andi’s house again today by sanding planks and helping Line and Tale lay the planks for the floor. We managed to get a bit of the flooring done, however there is still a lot of work left to do. I cannot wait to see the house when it is all finished.
Odin and Mulan still had big tummies today as we fed them quite a large piece of ribs last night! They were pretty slow today and lazy. Hopefully I will get to spend more time with the cubs tomorrow before I leave. I am feeling quite sad leaving the lions and all of the amazing people I have met here.
I had a fantastic evening with Andi tonight. I saw from my window that she was talking with some of the lions through the fence of the enclosure, so I headed up to take a couple photos of the lions and to chat with her. We walked along Sasha, Moya and Natasha’s enclosure. They were all sitting on a medium sized rock and Moya had an impala head that he was playing with. We spoke about how Natasha is doing so well here and how she is exploring her new enclosure. She has natural trees, rocks, water and bushes. She is still frightened by the sound of the trees, or if she hears other sounds like a stick breaking, as she’s in a new enclosure and didn’t have as many trees in her last enclosure. She is still adjusting but is doing great!
It was so special to sit with Andi and watch the three lions go down to this natural water pool area. Natasha was drinking water while Sasha and Moya were playing in the bushes together. Andi made a comment saying how this just warms her heart, to see these lions living out their life in peace, in a natural setting and just do what any normal lion would do without a care in the world of who’s watching them. In just a moment of witnessing these lions living their life happy, carefree and as natural as possible, you could see that all of Andi’s hard work and struggle for these lions has paid off. It was truly one of the most stunning moments I’ve experienced here in South Africa. To see the carefreeness and joy that oozes out of these lions each and everyday is like no other feeling.
Tomorrow the workers and Martin will start digging holes for posts in the Lööf Foundation Lion Lagoon enclosure as they will be building a small slaughtering area. This will give a bit more separation from the next door neighbors as they have dogs that bark, as well the Lion Lagoon enclosure is close to a road up to the mountain. This will allow for more privacy for the future lions in this enclosure! I cannot wait to see lions roaming around in the Lööf Foundation Lion Lagoon enclosure again in the future!
I hope that my time spent volunteering here has helped in some way. I will be leaving with so many new experiences, knowledge and relationships. I highly recommend volunteering here to anyone that has an interest as I can speak from experience that this is an experience unlike any you will ever have. I would like to extend a very warm thank you to Andi Rive for making my volunteering experience here possible in the first place. If it weren’t for her, there would be no Love Lions Alive Sanctuary. I would also like to give a big thank you to Line and Tale for taking me under their wing and teaching me, guiding me and making me feel like part of the team. My time spent here would not have been as great if it weren’t for all the amazing people I’ve met and worked alongside.
I am feeling quite sad to be leaving, but I know this sanctuary will continue to thrive and most of all the lions will keep on benefiting. I cannot wait to come back someday and see little Odin, Mulan and Carl all grown up. It will be amazing to see the boys Mandla, Isibindi, Moya and Sasha with their manes all grown out once they get older! Until then, it’s been wonderful here in South Africa!
Lööf Foundation representative