The Protective Lion Remains By His Sick Partner’s Side Until The End
This is a lovely story about loyalty and commitment between a protective lion and the lioness he adored. Leo and Muñeca are living proof that even wild animals can have strong emotions. These two lovely creatures remained together until the female sadly passed away, through good and bad times alike!
The majestic Leo and his queen Muñeca have spent their entire lives together. Their lives were not easy because they spent many years as performers in a circus in Peru, South America. They were rescued in 2014, thanks to the tireless efforts of Animal Defenders International. Although the couple was separated during their rescue, they were reunited shortly after.
“Leo and their sons, Chino, Coco, and Rolex, were successfully removed during a raid on the mission’s first day in August 2014,” Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International, told THE DODO. “Muñeca and their daughters, Africa and Kiara, were also saved six months later.”
Unfortunately, Muñeca became ill shortly after the entire family was reunited. It was the moment when Leo revealed his true abilities. He had always been protective of his best friend and soul mate, but now he was even more so. He stayed by Muñeca’s side, comforting her and assuring her that he would be there for her until the end.
“He [Leo] has always kept an eye on Muñeca, but when she became ill, he clearly recognized something was wrong,” Creamer explained. “He was seen encouraging her to eat her food and appearing to comfort her.”
Photos taken by Animal Defenders International volunteers show an overprotective Leo cuddling up with his lioness!
A few weeks after getting sick, Muñeca has sadly passed away, leaving Leo heartbroken. She was 19 years old! Leo was visible affected by the loss, so the staff who is taking care of him offered him treats, trying to cheer him up in this way. Now, Leo remained next to their five children, to look after them, too!
Here’s a video of Leo and Muñeca!