Major and General, the two lions we rescued from the Army Barracks in Harar last November, have completely settled in to life at Ensessakotteh. The first couple of months were tough. They growled frequently at us, and would often snap, snarl and swipe at each other, just as we saw them doing in Harar. But, finally, the peace and space of the Rescue Centre calmed them down.
These days they spend most of their time lying in the sun, in the middle of their enclosure, or else they drape themselves over one of the rocks so they can look out over the view. There is no sign of the tension that they showed when they first arrived. Where once they would have met each other with claws and teeth, they now head rub and lie side by side. We can even stand alongside the fence without worrying that we are disturbing them; they just calmly watch us. Undoubtedly, they feel safe and secure in their surroundings; how different from the angry, fearful beasts they were in Harar?
They can’t say thank you, but I can. The years in their old barren, stone cage are a lifetime away. Your generosity has given these two magnificent lions a new life and, by all appearances, it is one they love. Dare I say, it is almost as if they were born to it?