Wildlife Watch features Aslan’s memorial from The Wildcat Sanctuary
Please click on this direct link to read The Wildlife Watch Binocular, Spring 2015 edition, Page 4-5 for coverage of Aslan and the Catskill Game Farm rescue: Wildlife Watch memorial for Aslan, the lion
IN MEMORY OF ASLAN 1996 – December 2014
KING OF THE JUNGLE AND A BOY WHO WILL REMAIN IN OUR HEARTS
For our Wildlife Watch readers who were with us in 2006, you will certainly recall Wildlife Watch’s rescue of seven large cats from the Catskill Game Farm. We were alerted to their plight by Barbara Larson who had been a compassionate caretaker of the animals there for about 30 years. We are reprinting a summarized version of his obituary with permission of the Wildcat Sanctuary. To read more detail and to see more photos and video, visit: www.wildcatsanctuary.org/residents/big-cats/lions/aslan/
Tammy Thies, Founder and Executive Director wrote:
It was an unseasonably warm winter day. The snow was thawing and patches of grass appeared all throughout sanctuary. The sun was shining. Aslan was spending the morning doing what he loved most – napping in between his girls Asha and Shanti Deva. They were curled up in a patch of exposed grass soaking in the sun’s rays. Asha was snug on his left side and Shanti was a few feet away on his right. This is what he always lived for. This is what we spent the past six months
ensuring he received. The vet and I approached the enclosure during our morning rounds. Aslan was a special part of everyone’s routine so we could monitor his health closely. Six months ago he was diagnosed with serious and chronic hepatitis of the liver. We made the decision to provide treatment as long as he could remain with his pride and be pain free. Today, I was looking at Aslan who now had a very blonde and thinning mane – a side effect from some of his medications. This was quite the contrast from the full and dark mane he had in his younger years. His body was now that of an aged cat. But he was enjoying this day to the fullest. He was still the king of our sanctuary. Some even referred to him as the “tree of life” – a symbol of magnificent beauty and existence.
We had seen a steady decline and knew his time was limited. But we did not think it would end today. The pride was together and seemed more connected than ever. As I observed the lions blissfully in the sun with their eyes closed, I asked that Aslan give us a sign when it was time to let go. But for now, he would get to spend a peaceful day with the pride. Shortly after I left the sanctuary that afternoon, Aslan had a serious seizure. As the caretakers rushed to the enclosure, Shanti Deva and Asha were trying to coax him up and were nudging and pushing him. When the seizure subsided, all three of them were coaxed into their indoor building. Aslan had given us the sign. It was time to let him go with dignity. The seizures would only get worse and his body would only deteriorate. He deserved to leave the sanctuary as king, the same way he arrived. -Aslan will be deeply missed but always be a part of The Wildcat Sanctuary.
Aslan’s Story as told by The Wildcat Sanctuary:
Aslan and two lionesses were part of a big cat rescue from the Catskill Game Farm in New York. With the closure of their animal park, the Game Farm auctioned off 950 animals and made east coast and national headlines. Many worried that some of the animals would wind up in the hands of unscrupulous dealers, or that animals, such as deer or goats, would go to people who run ‘canned shoot’ operations where hunters pay to shoot fenced-in animals. It is described as one of the largest animal rescues of its type. Wildlife Watch intervened on behalf of the three lions to ensure a safer fate through placement at TWS.
Update: Of the seven large cats who went to The Wildcat Sanctuary. Four are still living. To see Mia and Max’s memorial statements, visit:
You can read more about their history as Wildlife Watch knew it by going to www.wildwatch.org and searching “African lions.” Please support the excellent work of The Wildcat Sanctuary. They not only give refuge to exotic cats but they speak out strongly against the exotic pet trade. Visit their site at: www.wildcatsanctuary.org