Animals are, by and large, truly amazing creatures. Most of the time, an animal sticks with its own family – in most animal cultures, family is massively important. For that reason, many animals like to stick together and move in larger groups to try and stay safe. If they want to survive they need to stay strong and maintain safety in numbers. When a little animal gets lost, it often becomes prey to the vicious machinations of nature.
The animal kingdom does not rely on cuteness to help you survive, unlike the human world. When Sirga the lioness fell ill, her family left her behind to fend for herself. Cruel? Yes. But, to the nature of the beast, the whole pack being slowed down and weakened by one cub simply isn’t worth everyone else dying. So, she was left alone and essentially left to die.
She was found just outside of a farm in Botswana, barely capable of movement and in deep need of food or starvation would likely bring about her end. The rescuers quickly brought her back to health, gave her food and gave her the opportunity to recover and find some happiness. Most importantly, they want to learn how to give her a family so that she could live and survive on her own terms.
Cautious about putting too much on one so young and who had already been through so much, though, they were very slow in taking things too far with Sirga. It turns out that Sirga had two younger cubs who died so, when she fell ill, the pride decided they had to cut loose and move on – as horrible as that might sound.
The people who save her were led by a man named Valentin Gruener, who worked on the farm that she turned up to. He helped to bring the cub back to his HQ and get her patched up and back into fine form as quickly as possible. It turns out that Valentin is part of the Modisa Wildlife Project in Botswana, so he wanted to help out the little 4-pound lioness and bring it back to health.
Using an IV treatment alongside a diet of eggs, cream, vitamins, sunflower oil, calcium and milk the little one was soon on the mend. Before long, she was thriving and living a happy life – she’s got all the care she needs to grow up and be strong and has far outlasted the bleak and painful prognosis that was placed upon her.
“To this day we believe she is probably the most spoiled and well-fed lion in Botswana,” Valentin said.
Now a whopping 170 pounds in size, she has been able to grow up fast and become a much stronger animal. Now on a powerful raw meat diet, she’s getting the kind of love and care that she would have expected when out in the wild. While Sirga’s story started off very sadly, it looks like she has made a full, happy and very healthy recovery!
They are desperate to avoid her becoming a tourist lion, though, with the long-term aim of putting her back into the wild.
“We want to release her eventually as a wild lion, not as one who has met lots of people. That would be dangerous. She only interacts with us.” Valentin stated.