Will Lions Roam The Wildcat Sanctuary in the Future?
Aslan’s pride arrived at the Sanctuary in 2006 after the Catskill Game Farm closed its doors. Our quiet sanctuary suddenly echoed with the most beautiful sound – the roar of the lion pride. Though Aslan was the male of the lions here, Shanti Deva was always the leader, followed by Asha.
Sadly, the Sanctuary’s melody changed when we lost Aslan and Asha. They lived long lives and both passed due to natural causes. Now at 21, lioness Shanti is our only lion and the matriarch of the Sanctuary. She greets us each morning with her roaring session and closes each evening the same.
We’re often asked if we’ll provide a home for more lions in need?
The answer’s yes. But it isn’t always that easy.
Just like there are common dog breeds found at shelters across America, there are common species of wild cats that are overpopulated, too. Orange Bengal tigers, cougars, bobcats and servals breed easily in captivity and tend to be what we receive the most calls about.
So, when a rare species such as a leopard or lion are in need, there are dozens of sanctuaries that come forward, especially those open to the public who want diverse species for visitors or education. Often, the orange Bengal tigers are left still needing placement.
Are lions more valuable than tigers?
To us, a tiger’s life is just as important as a lion’s. And it’s important for us to ensure as many animals find reputable sanctuaries as possible. When we work coordinating placement for cats involved in national cases, we don’t allow facilities to cherry pick which they’ll take in.
Instead, when a facility agrees to take in many animals in need, we try to arrange for them to take in certain cats that are important to their mission, too. It’s an exercise in balancing needs.
Some sanctuaries specialize in geriatric residents. Others may have had several losses over the past year and for self-healing would like to help a younger cat. Others are open to the public, and having one white tiger is a very good educational opportunity to share the truth about white tigers.
For us, all cats deserve our care, but honestly, it will be difficult when the lion melody at The Wildcat Sanctuary ends.
We also know Shanti Deva would benefit from a roaring partner. If we would ever introduce her to another lion, it would depend on temperament and age.
We hope Shanti Deva will reign over the sanctuary for years to come. And our hearts and sanctuary doors are open to help any lion in need. We know the lion (s) that need us most will find their way to The Wildcat Sanctuary when the time is right.