Animal Relocation

© Roger de la Harpe

'My name is Simba and I have heard them say that I am the King of the Beasts and the biggest of all the seven wild cats in Africa. I am mentioned more than a hundred times in the Bible and in the past fought with kings and noblemen. I am the emblem for the British people and the holy city of Jerusalem. You can see me in books and films all over the world and even on some money notes.

I am desperate and feel terrible and weak. I am in much pain, have difficulty in breathing and coughing up red blood. I am uncomfortable because of these hard metal things stuck in my lungs and between my ribs. I could not recognize the strange humans that injured me. I am feeling tired because I ran very far. Am I going to die?

After living well and in comfort for many years, I do not see a good future in this place because I feel lost and am missing my family very much. After my nice and easy carefree life at home, is this the way to go? I hear dogs barking excitedly and they sound unfriendly. They are getting closer. What will they do to me? I can't defend myself because I feel weak and in much pain. This is not the life I was used to before they dropped and left me here.

After they brought me here, I was hungry and thirsty. Although the freedom and the wide open spaces seemed OK for a few days, I would rather be back in my small place that I called home. I feel lost and lonely and want to go to my home where I was looked after, usually fed good food and admired. They always said that I was a big lion and had a beautiful big black mane. They cared for me when I was sick and I felt safe and protected.

Those humans were really very good to me and I miss them and especially the company of my two sisters. After they drugged me and after a long uncomfortable bumpy ride in a small box on the back of a bakkie they brought me here to this new place. They just left me and drove away and I was alone. I wandered all over looking for my home. There was no suitable food only some dried bones and I was very hungry, thirsty and tired and only want to go home.

I did not recognize any of the other animals in this strange place. I only wanted to greet them and be friendly, but they ran away whenever I came near them. I don't know why they were scared of me and so unfriendly because I would never hurt them. After roaming in this new big place for many days I found something to eat. Was that stinking donkey carcass that was dumped there supposed to be my last meal? Did they think that this meat was fit for a King?

But that was all that found to eat. I did not leave it because I did not know when I would have my next meal and who would feed me. The dogs are getting closer and I can't move because I am in a lot of pain. I hear a bakkie in the distance that is coming closer. Is it bringing some food, medical aid and a vet to help me?

It is getting dark and I am really lonely and tired. I ran a long way to escape from those nasty humans who hurt me. I don't know or trust those humans. Who is coming to look for me? Why did they do this to me? What is happening to me? Am I going to die? Is this why I was created? What is my life worth?'

by Hym Ebedes

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Kruger National Park - South African Safari