Monday, March 16, 2009

Affection from a Top Predator

The subject of Christian the lion came up when talking with folks this weekend, and we got to thinking about other shows of affection from lions that we've seen. I think I may make this a theme for this week.

So, assuming you've seen the fabulous reunion-after-a-year-in-Africa between Christian and his former owners John Rendall and Ace Bourke...

And assuming no one has yet turned up a copy of the film Jack Paar and His Lions, which features an after-a-year-apart reunion between the Marchesa Sieuwke Bisleti and her lions... (Anyone have a copy of this film? Please let me know!) ...

I turn to Jupiter the lion, and his benefactor, Ana Julia Torres.

This picture shows Jupiter reaching through the bars of his cage and clasping Ana Julia Torres in his huge paws to hug her and give her a kiss.

Ms. Torres earned the affection of this lion by nursing him back to health after rescuing him. He is one of nearly 800 rescue animals at her Villa Lorena animal shelter in a suburb of Cali, Columbia.

Ms. Torres is a teacher who began caring for abused animals about 10 years ago. She says that she takes in everything from limbless flamingos to blind monkeys.

Ms. Torres funds the sanctuary with her teaching salary along with donations. She will not open the sanctuary to the public. She says she wants the animals to live in peace.

This clip simply shows the lion and Ms. Torres:

This clip has more:

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