The Born Free Foundation has been quite busy lately, continuing with its outstanding work in wildlife conservation, rescue, and education. Not only has Born Free actively led or participated in the rescue of animals around the world, but they've also been instrumental in developing wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers in countries where the need was great. In 2007, Born Free worked with the government of Ethiopia to begin work on a new wildlife rescue center at Ensessakotteh which has already opened its doors to new tenants.
Two male lions named Andrea and Janu were moved to the sanctuary from the Presidential Palace where they were temporarily being housed while the center was being built. Shortly thereafter, Major and General (two male lions as well) arrived at Ensessakotteh from a military base where they had lived for thirteen years. Major and General were found abandoned as lion cubs and taken in by soldiers but the army had decided it could no longer care for them so it was decided that the lions would be moved to Ensessakotteh where they would have more room and receive proper care.
One of the first tenants at the new center is a lion named Dolo. Dolo has been at the center since 2007 and has always had a special place in my heart. In August of 2011 I wrote a short blog piece about Dolo the lion and his rescue in Ethiopia:
The look in Dolo's eyes in the photo I posted has always haunted me. No lion should carry that "defeat-of-spirit" look in his eyes. Lions are not only very proud, majestic animals but they're playful, loving and very social as well. Knowing that Dolo had suffered such abuse absolutely broke my heart but I knew Born Free would help in their attempts to rescue him. And they did - Dolo was taken to his new home at Ensessakotteh. This is why Ensessakotteh came to represent a special place to me - because of what it represented to Dolo and the rest of his life.
They say a photo speaks a thousand words and in this case it couldn't be more true.
Below is a photo of Dolo in 2007, the year of his rescue:
And this is Dolo today in his new home:
The articles below are from Born Free and all content belongs to them. I'm simply the messenger who would like others to know about the wonderful work they do every day.
Virginia McKenna, who with her late husband, Bill Travers, and son Will Travers (Born Free USA's chief executive officer) co-founded the Born Free Foundation, thanks supportersfor sponsoring the foundation's successful rescue of four lions in Ethiopia.
This week, a team from international wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation, in association with colleagues from the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), successfully relocated four rescued lions to Ensessakotteh, Ethiopia’s first wildlife rescue, conservation and education center.
For 10 years, a pair of brother lions have been wholly confined to a cage in Ethiopia that's less than half the size of a tennis court. They pace listlessly on dirt as people outside the wire mesh snap pictures. Their coats — which should be glossy — are dull and filthy. They are trapped, they are in pointless captivity, they are miserable.
But they are not without hope.
(By Stephen Brend, the Ethiopian Wildlife Center’s director. Followhis blog.)
With Dolo settled in his new home, it was time to think about moving Safia up to join him. For both Dolo and Safia, the company of another lion would be psychologically beneficial. Lions are, after all, the most social of the cats.
(Taken from the Born Free Foundation’s website.)
Many of Born Free’s projects and campaigns require us to be persistent, patient and prepared to commit for the long haul. Our plans, initiated in 2006, to develop Ethiopia’s first Wildlife Rescue, Conservation and Education Center have required these very qualities. However, with support from the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority and His Excellency, President Wolde-Giorgis, we are now starting to bring benefit to many rescued wild animals who need our care.
Ethiopia is home to dozens of rare and endangered species. They face numerous threats including wildlife trade and habitat loss. Born Free USA partnered with the federal democratic government of Ethiopia to begin building a state-of-the-art rescue facility for many of these animals in 2007.