Margrit shares her visit and photos of Yame and George.
For several years now Chris has been my go-to person for anything trophy hunting related in South Africa. When we founded Nikela it was solely with a desire to help those who did good by wildlife, but didn’t have a clue as to how complicated this seemingly simple journey was going to be.
In August 2014 we heard about the lion cubs in Spain. About how they were being used for profit by their owner who invited naïve tourists to pay to take photos with them. When CACH jumped in and we heard of the call for donations to help rescue the cubs, I of course wanted to help. We organized a small matching challenge and were able to raise a contribution to their travel expenses to their forever home in South Africa.
Yes, I literally jumped up and hugged my husband when I got word that we were invited by Kevin himself to visit the cubs. We arose early on the appointed morning and arrived as scheduled. The day was a typical sunny South African day, warm, blue skies with a few white puffy clouds, the bush golden and rugged.
We followed Kevin’s Land Rover down the track to the compound. Stepping around the building I caught my first glimpse of them, under the tree in their enclosure. They came closer as both Kevin and Jade were very familiar to them now.
Did they ever look different! The first photos I’d seen of them were pitiful. Both George and Yame looked sickly and unhappy. And here, now… about six months later, both looked so good!
On the day of our visit it had been 12 days since George’s eye surgery and Kevin said that now he could see and was much naughtier and more playful because of it.
How amazing it was to be in their presence and how grateful I felt for people like Kevin who gave them a home, the next best thing to being wild, and to the many people from CACH who worked tirelessly to make the rescue reality.
Thank you Margrit, so much for sharing your visit with us. The boys look amazing and it is so nice to see them looking so relaxed.
Thank you Kevin and Jade for looking after them so very well, they look truly fantastic.