Dr. Joao flew in to the area where the local Rangers had been tracking 2 of the injured Lions on the ground. With their guidance the Pilot was able to locate them and Dr. Joao could dart the 2 injured big cats from the air.
These 2 lions turned out to be the Father and a 7 month old female of a Pride. Despite both having Gin traps attached, they were in surprisingly good shape. The Rangers told us that they had witnessed the rest of the Pride bringing them food and licking their wounds, thankfully, the pride had kept these 2 alive long enough for Dr. Joao to get there!
The male had a trap on his rear leg and the female, one on her front paw. Sadly, due to the brutality of these traps, both had to have their affected paws amputated, but Dr. Joao was able to successfully treat and close both wounds.
The Rangers, who had been standing guard while Dr. Joao operated, provided a fresh meal for the Pride to ensure they ate as soon as we woke the patients. That night, the 2 injured Lions ate well and took on water, and by morning they had moved off with the Pride and were seen to walk well on their injured legs.
Exhausted and emotionally battered, Dr. Joao then flew off in search of the 3rd Lion, no time to sleep, there was still one more feline that desperately required our help. We will soon have full details on that operation and report.
These animals are amazingly resilient! We have seen many wild big cats adapt and live unencumbered with an amputated limb. So we are certain that these 2 will recover and thrive, especially as they have such an amazing and loving Pride taking care of them.