Nero & Nora

Born: 2012 & 2008
Nero comes from a French circus, Nora was owned by a German animal trainer

Nero came to South Africa together with Masrya, a picture cub from Egypt.  Unfortunately, Masrya passed away in February 2021 as a result of kidney failure.

Nero comes from a French circus. Please read his rescue story below.

Nora lived with a lion tamer, together with Ziera and Mahli. When this trainer could by law no longer perform with these lionesses in circuses, she took them to Stichting Leeuw in the Netherlands. The three ladies stayed in quarantine for a couple of weeks and were then moved to South Africa, where they belong.

After Masrya’s passing, Nero went in search of a new companion. Fortunately, Nora was still single at The Lions Foundation, so she was moved in the enclosure right next to Nero. The keepers and vet kept a close eye on how they got along. As soon as it seemed safe, the gate between them was be opened. They are getting along really well and they will hopefully have a great and long semi-wild life together!

Nero’s rescue

Nero grew up at Stichting Leeuw to be a big proud lion and the visitors’ favourite. Nero was the only surviving cub of a nest of four captive born cubs at a French circus. Since the circus had decided to cancel its lion act, Nero was sold to another circus. This circus offered visitors an opportunity to have their picture taken with the cub for payment. Nero was a picture cub. He spent most of his days hidden away from sight in much too small a cage. After receiving a tip from a concerned circus contact, Stichting Leeuw took Nero to their rescue facility. Nero wasn’t even 4 months old when he arrived on the estate.

Nero is now an adult lion, but still as playful as ever and sometimes very stubborn and rowdy. After living with Masrya, he now has a new partner in Nora.

Did you know…
… that Stichting Leeuw aims to return many more lions to their natural habitat?

Help make this possible by adopting a lion.


The Lions Foundation aims to
rehabilitate lions in need from
all over the world to their
natural habitat.


The Lions Foundation is
located in Schrikkloof
Nature Reserve.

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