The Thoughts of a Lion

IMG_3250I wonder if there are any lions out there in the wild that are strict vegetarians. It would be pretty tough finding the crisp lettuce and vegetables that are so easy to come by at the local grocery store out on the hot and desolate plains of Africa. Maybe the lion vegetarians only eat dead grass, which sounds terrible, but when your a lion with principles, what other choice is there? I wonder if there are any lions that like have aspirations of traveling the world, to see what else is out there. I imagine that it would not be too easy for those lions to follow their dreams, because as soon as they get to the airport people will start to panic and there is virtually no chance that they would be allowed to board a plane, even if they were somehow resourceful enough to come up with the funds to purchase a ticket. This seems like discrimination, but sadly there is nothing being done for lions travel rights in the world today. The best hope these lions have of seeing a different part of the world is if they are shipped in a container to a zoo somewhere, where they will likely spend the rest of their lives.

I also wonder if lions who are sent to zoos ever feel homesick. Perhaps they left with the high hopes of a better life, but immediately regretted it upon finding out that they would be confined to a much smaller home behind the fence of their exhibits. Maybe the lions we see in the zoos have all committed heinous crimes out in the wild, and being locked up is the life sentence they are serving, and we shouldn’t feel bad for them at all. Maybe justice is being served, but I have my doubts. I wonder if any of the lions we see have killed a human before, and perhaps the family of the deceased will visit the zoo from time to time, on the anniversary of their loved one’s death, and take a little comfort in knowing that this lion won’t be able to harm anyone ever again. Do they hurl insults at the killer or stand quietly weeping for their loss? Are there any lions that are sentenced to a life in the zoo there unfairly? Maybe it’s just a case of mistaken identity, and the prosecutor was a much better lawyer than the public defender assigned to the lion’s case.

I wonder if any lions suffer heartbreak, the way you or I might in our lifetime. Maybe they fell in love back in Africa, but lost their significant other to a stronger member of the pack. In this case perhaps they feel that putting space between them will help them to heal and find closure, and welcome the opportunity to be shipped thousands of miles away from their home, to live out the remainder of their lives in a local zoo. Maybe they fall in love with the other lion occupying the enclosed habitat at the zoo, an arranged marriage with a happy ending, or perhaps they feel none of these things or think any of these thoughts, because after all they are animals and have no way of telling us one way or another. These are just some things I wonder about from time to time.

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