This Rescue Lioness Was On The Brink Of Death With Little Hope. Then, She Found Her Soulmate…Ashley Maisano
A lioness name Sheila has met her match and soulmate in a lion named Kahn. Both of them were rescued, months apart, from the same local facility by Texas’ In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center. Their sole purpose of living was to be rented out for photo ops, birthday parties and weddings.
“When the animals are no longer useful to him, he throws them aside and stop caring for them,” Vicky Keahey, founder of In-Sync, told The Dodo. “He’s since got his license revoked.
Kahn, who was six years old at the time, was rescued in March of 2009, while Sheila came the following July. Neither were being cared for properly but their former older and therefore were confiscated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Kahn was not in the best of shape when he arrived. The end of his tail was completely chewed off and very thin, which rescuers believe he did himself out of stress of boredom. He also had bone issues, due to malnutrition, which made it hard for him to walk. Despite these issues, he was very friendly and acclimated quickly to his new surroundings.
Sheila, conversely, was on the brink of death. At just over a year old, she was so weak that she couldn’t even stand up. She did not even have the strength to lift her head up to drink water. The USDA told In-Sync that she would most likely have to be euthanized. For the next few days after arriving at the rescue, she vomited nonstop and laid helplessly on the ground.
“For two weeks, I had to go in with Sheila and hand-feed her,” Keahey told The Dodo. “I’d roll up meat balls and literally stuff them down her throat.” Then, they discovered the problem behind Sheila’s weakness: she had toxoplasmosis, an illness caused by a parasite that negatively impacts the immune system with symptoms such as loss of appetite and lethargy. They began to treat her immediately.
The treatment worked and Sheila made a full recovery. Kahn, too, grew healthy and strong. The two of them moved in next door to each other in their new enclosures, and when they saw each other, it was love at first sight.
After they got Sheila spayed, they allowed the lions to spend time with one another. Their “dates” went great and the two eventually ended up getting “married.” Now, they live in the same enclosure and enjoy each other’s presence more than anything.
They enjoy playing with cardboard boxes, each other, and of course cuddling. Kahn lets Sheila have her own space, but once a neighboring male lion comes too close for his liking, Kahn “lets that guy know she belongs to him,” Keahey said.
They both came from a horrible past, but now they found love and comfort in each other.