Bella and Simba have a remarkable story.
The two lions are rescues from captivity. Bella is a 12-year-old lioness that the Born Free Foundation rescued from Romania. Simba is a lion who was released from a French circus and then taken to a sanctuary in Belgium. The two had been without companions for too long, so the foundation decided to bring Simba to Bella so the two could be mates. The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild.
Bella is an older lion who has only one eye from her former life in captivity. The video shows the first meeting between the two, which is very important since lions are near extinction.
The meeting needed careful planning and execution. “Female lions are always quite nervous of being introduced to males, because they’re very inferior in strength,” says Tony Wiles, Born Free Big Cat Expert. “Males can kill female lions very easily.”
When Simba arrived, the two lions did not seem to get along, as Bella struck him in his throat and the two growled at each other. As time passed, the two lions learned to live together. Thankfully, all ended well. Their relationship continues to evolve as they enjoy the tranquility and space in their African home.
Image source: Born Free Foundation/ Youtube