One day, two rescued lions were brought together. One was a lioness named Masrya and the other was a four-month-old lion cub called Nero. No one knew what would happen when these two would meet. However, what did happen was beyond everyone’s expectations!
20. The Meeting
The meeting between the two took place in 2013, but their story is timeless. The story of these two meeting is still be shared by people everywhere. Our story starts with the discovery of a caged lioness on the side of a road.
The lioness was eventually rescued and brought over to a lion foundation called Stichting Leeuw, which is located in the Netherlands. It was there the lioness was named Masrya. She had traveled all the way from Egypt to be in her new home.
18. A Prop
In Egypt, Masrya was living a pretty tough life. She was used a prop by a street trader that purchased her. He used her for photoshoots and to promote his own services. It wasn’t a good life for her…
They even had poor Masrya declawed so that tourists could pose for photos with her. She was forced to stay in a very tiny cage that didn’t fit her size at all. Masrya was simply a display animal.
In fact, Masrya spent most of her life inside of a cage. This went on until the lioness turned two-years-old. Her owner even had the nerve to keep her out on display on the side of a road in Cairo.
However, everything would soon change for Masrya after one woman took a photograph of her. A German woman named Saskia Berandt witnessed the cruel cage that Masrya was confined to while walking around in Egypt. She quickly snapped a photo to share online.
Berandt soon shared the photo online and created a petition to help get Masrya out of her current state. The petition eventually got the attention of U.K.-based organization Spots and Stripes Conservation. The organization helped out a lot with the fundraising.
In February 2013, the organization eventually raised enough funds to be able to purchase Masyra from her owner. It was then she was transferred to Stichting Leeuw, the lion foundation.
12. Different Countries
Many of the lions at the foundation come from countries that recently passed laws against the use of wild animals in circus acts. Still, many of the circuses continue to fight the laws and it is still pretty hard to rescue all of the lions in these bad situations.
Many of the lions share similar background stories to Masyra. In fact, when Masyra first arrived to the foundation she was in such bad condition that she could barely walk. She suffered greatly while confined in her cage.
10. Not A Hunter
Another terrible problem for Masyra was the fact that she was declawed. This means that she can no longer hunt for herself. Masyra depends on sanctuaries to be able to survive…
9. Looking Up
Luckily for Masyra, such sanctuaries exist and the foundation she is at is one of them. The sanctuary works hard to make sure that Masyra lives in the best conditions possible and is fed a healthy diet. She also has tons of space to move around!
8. New Friend
Things were really starting to look up for Masyra. Then the most unexpected thing happened. Masyra was introduced to a lion cub…
7. Rescued Cub
The rescued cub, named Nero, was brought to the sanctuary from a circus. His enclosure was right near Masyra so she was able to see him pretty easily. The two had more in common than one might have thought.
Nero was taken away from his mother at a very young age and forced to be a circus act. Just like Masyra, he was used as a prop for photos and to keep tourists interested. The circus life was all poor Nero knew.
5. Sold Off
Nero was sold off to another French circus, even though his mother was still working at the one he was originally born into. The workers didn’t care about separating a mother lioness and her cub at such a young age.
4. Similar Situations
Nero was eventually rescued after a concerned citizen alerted people to his life situation. Nero was also kept inside of a cage that was far too small for him. He was horribly mistreated and Masyra saw something in him that she liked.
Both Masyra and Nero absolutely adored each other from the start. It seems that they found something that was missing in each other. Their love started through them playing through the fence that separated them.
The staff quickly noticed the love between the two and allowed them to interact. They soon were inseparable and would always be playing, kissing, and doing everything together. Eventually, it was time for Masrya to return to Africa, however, she wouldn’t be taking the trip alone.
1. Packaged Deal
At this point, the lioness and lion were a packaged deal. So the sanctuary set it up that both would return to Africa together. Now the two of them are living happily at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa.