A South African woman walks into a lion’s den by herself. This isn’t a set-up for a joke and there’s no punchline. Her name’s Or Lazmi and she’s spearheading a controversial program to convert captive lions to wild ones. It’s ambitious and it could either succeed (pardon the pun) wildly or it could fail badly. She’s confident it will be the former and not the latter.
Lazmi has inserted herself as the leader of four lions that she has known since they were cubs. They are now 17 months old and wholly accept her in their pack. If any other human comes in, Lazmi had better be there or it could be a very short and deadly visit. She even reminds the reporter that’s in this video that these are still wild animals despite their docile behavior around the two of them.
Does she have a real plan or is this a risky idea that might set back how captive animals are handled? Like anything in life, it’s a gamble. She’s going to play the cards that she’s given as best as she can and whatever happens, happens. The reasoning behind this is that she wants to tip the scales back toward nature. At this time, more animals are captive than free. That’s an injustice that demands to be righted.
She’s certainly to be applauded for having the courage of her convictions. It’s a good idea… but I hope that nobody’s hurt on either side. The lions could be too domesticated to survive in the wild, even though she’s really the only human that interacts with them. Or they could change too much once they go out into the wild and it could be tragic for her. Either way, the status quo is too much for her.
As amazing as this video is, I don’t think I could sit among those four lions even if I had known them for as long as her. What do you think? Leave a comment!
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