Founders of the Modisa Wildlife Project, Mikkel Legarth of Denmark and Valentin Gruener of Germany, have developed a special relationship with a lioness in Botswana, Africa. Her name is Sirga and she isn’t like any other lion in captivity. Although she is very close to Legarth and Gruener, she still hunts on her own and hopefully will be back in the wild one day!
Legarth and Gruener found Sirga when she was just a young cub. Sirga was the only cub out of three to survive before she was abandoned. When asked why they took Sirga in, Legarth said to the New York Daily News, “It happened on our land and we could not stand by and watch her die.”
Sirga has developed a special relationship with Legarth and Gruener since her rescue, which has gotten to the point where she even allows them near her while she eats! She also gives them great hugs, as you can see in the video! She represents the physical manifestation of Legarth’s and Gruener’s dreams and ambition to protect wildlife in Africa through The Modisa Wildlife Project.
Although Sirga doesn’t rely on people to be fed, she also doesn’t seem to be afraid of people, which can be a problem when she is returned to the wild. For this reason, the Modisa Wildlife Project is looking for an area that isn’t populated by people or fragmented by farms to release Sirga but also to relocate other lions into the wild.
Botswana wilderness is being encroached upon by farming, which results in more lions coming into contact with farmers. Luckily, the Botswana government protects all lions, but for the safety of the lions and the people, they are best kept at a distance. Hopefully with the help of an organization like Modisa Wildlife Project, an area will be designated to protect the lions of Botswana for generations to come.
Sirga is living proof that with the right balance of the land, human and beast, we can walk together on this planet in harmony!
The Modisa Wildlife Project works to “guard the wildlife of Botswana.” The project hopes to protect and enhance biodiversity of the region while promoting sustainability in Botswana.