Lion cub rescued from a downtown balcony

The lion cub in question. Image source: The Toronto Sun online.It was an astonishing sight: the lion cub, only 5 weeks old, was found living on a balcony in downtown Beirut. He weighed just six kilograms at the time and was taken from his mother much too soon, explained Lana El-Khalil, president of Animals Lebanon, an animal welfare group.

With the cooperation of the owners, Animal Lebanon rescued the cub and immediately set out to find a sanctuary for him. The problem was that there is no facility in Lebanon that could care for the lion so Animals Lebanon needed to find a sanctuary in Africa that could provide him with as natural an environment as possible.

Not long after rescuing the young lion, now named Leo, he was transported by air to Drakenstein Lion Park in South Africa, a sanctuary that cares for more than 30 rescued lions.

Leo is now at the sanctuary just outside of Cape Town and he has never been more happy, El-Khalil said. For the first time he is rolling around on the grass, enjoying the sunlight, and wanting to play at all hours. He has a long way to go but with the expert care of the sanctuary and with the other lions showing Leo what it means to be a lion, in a couple years he will grow into an impressive adult.

-- EM

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