Our Story

Bongani’s Story . . .

This amazing Lion Shelter started with a seven month old lion cub named Bongani.

He was picked up by tourists in a lion enclosure in the Soetdoring Nature Reserve. Sitting next to the road with obvious bite marks on his body. The tourists reported the incident to a Reserve official who handed the cub over.

He was fed a milk formula until he was three months old. It wasn’t long his caretakers realized that he wasn’t well. He became paralyzed in his back legs, refusing to walk. At the animal clinic he was diagnosed with middle-ear infection, as well as distinct cataracts in his left eye.
A month later during his follow-up examination, he was diagnosed with a liver problem that was causing a deficiency in his body. It was recommended that Bongani be put to sleep. At this stage, his care takers came to us for assistance.

Bongani at Bagamoya

Bongani arrived at Bagamoya on the 22nd December 2002, when he was seven months old. We took Bongani to a Jo’burg zoo vet for a second opinion.

The vet explained to us that Bongani needed an eye-operation, which would probably leave him farsighted, as well as a leg operation.

All these problems were seemingly a result of malnutrition as he was not fed the proper foods for a cub. He only weighed thirty five kg. We started feeding him milk formula and foods such as animal skins, intestines, bones, blood, and basically everything that he would eat in his natural habitat.

Today he is farsighted and a bit smaller in size compared to other lions of his age. He has a fabulous mane and has produced many offspring.

Bongani is now 9 years old, and is an amazing lion. He has a soft spirit, and never shows any aggressive behavior. When you walk up to him, he always starts chatting with you, and he always leans against the fence to be stroked.

Let us give Thanks

Bongani’s name means ‘let us give thanks’ and ‘gift’. We give thanks to Bongani, because he is a gift to us!

Welcome to our world!