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Nah, guys like Mike and anybody else keeping exotics as pets are all about their own ego.....no thanks.
This was back when I had brought my kids back to the States for a few years in order to meet the other side of the family they’d never seen. I wanted to continue with my career so we settled in Winston, Or. where I took over the carnivore dept. at Wildlife Safari.
Although it is captivity, it’s a really great spot, better than the San Diego wildlife park IMO. We were known internationally for our cheetah breeding/conservation, and while I was there we had between 9 and 11 lions. This particular guy was abandoned by his mom at birth and after much thought as to whether to let him die naturally or take him in, I decided on the latter. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship ;)
After deciding to try to reintroduce him back to the pride I had to slowly break my bond with him and very slowly and gingerly start the introduction process, which took about 6 months and was very tricky.....never been done before.
In the end it succeeded and he lived out his life as a lion amongst lions rather than among people. A good thing.
Here are some of the cats he became a part of again. The blackest maned lion was his daddy.
Shortly after this I decided I was done with captivity and started my work in Africa, which was to go on for About 15 years or so, with a couple of years doing wildlife undercover work in India in the middle.
Edited to add: actually in looking at this pic his pappa is the big fellow on the far left.
View attachment 583119
My cousin worked there and helped raise the young cats back in the early '90's I think. Her name is Mindy, wonder if you might have met her.
My cousin worked there and helped raise the young cats back in the early '90's I think. Her name is Mindy, wonder if you might have met her.
The name sounds familiar. I finally gave up on captivity and left for Namibia in 1993 to work on the cheetah issues at the source.
You might ask her if she remembers the name Shimon. I ran the carnivore dept. and kinda had gained a reputation of the animals always coming first, even over management’s ideas that involved finances.
Interesting times :cool:



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