Omar & Mahli

Born: 2011 and 2008
Omar comes from a private owner in Slovakia, Mahli from a German animal trainer
Family: Omar is the brother of Bruno

Omar was in a terrible state when he arrived at the Stichting Leeuw rescue centre. Please read his story below.

Mahli lived with a lion tamer, together with Nora 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.

As lions live in prides in the wild, and The Lions Foundation tries to stimulate their natural behaviour, the keepers felt that Omar could not stay alone. Mahli lived alone too, so upon arrival at the foundation they were immediately placed next to each other. And fortunately, they got along fine! So they now happily live together. Mahli turned Omar into a happy lion, they can now rely on each other in the semi-wild.

Omar’s rescue

As a cub Omar was bought by a man who thought it would be nice to have a lion. But when he fled the country, Omar was left in his small cage. The man’s father tried to sell the lion, which failed. Omar lost a lot of weight and his cage didn’t provide shelter from the cold. When a group of animal activists noticed that Omar was for sale, they alerted Stichting Leeuw. In March 2015 the foundation rescued Omar, and restored him to good health in the shelter.

In 2017 Stichting Leeuw had acquired enough funds and Omar was strong enough to move to South Africa. When he left The Netherlands, it was snowing, so the change to the African climate was hard on him. He had huge manes, which didn’t help in the heat. A tent was donated to him, which gave him extra shelter from the sun. After a few months he was used to his new home. He is quite particular; he tolerates the keepers but is not keen on the volunteers. At the moment he lives alone – he was separated from his brother very early on, so the two big males would fight each other if they would meet.


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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