With the new Lion King remake destroying box offices everywhere, we felt it was only time to take a look at real-life animals worthy of our adoration. Today, we are going to introduce you to a gorgeous lioness named Kiara and her old trainer, Adolfo. After being raised from youth by Adolfo, the two had been forced to separate. Now, years later, they are getting to share one of the most heartwarming reunions that we have ever seen. Are you ready to cry a few tears of joy?
The King of the Jungle
Our story today is going to be focused on a lion named Kiara. Though we are focused on one individual animal, Kiara represents all of the so-called Kings of the Jungle. Now dangerously endangered, it is up to us to shine a light on their potential extinction. By sharing stories like Kiara’s, we can add a layer of empathy and humanity to one of the most misunderstood apex predators on the planet.
Importance of Lion Conservation Efforts
Right now, African lions like Kiara are considered endangered due to problems arising from habitat loss, poaching, and conflict between humans and animals. Over the last three generations, the number of living African lions have dwindled by more than 40%. What does this mean? To put things plainly, our Kings of the Jungle are in a desperate situation. Now, there are only 20,000 African lions currently in the wild.
Meet Kiara the Lion Cub
The main character in today’s story is Kiara, a little lioness. According to the latest scientific studies, there are roughly 40,000 TOTAL wild lions left on the planet. That’s right, the aforementioned African lion, which is considered vulnerable, makes up more than half of the global population. How can you look at this adorable face and wish for anything but their protection?
A Beautiful Origin Story
Kiara is a female lioness who was discovered in Mexico. She was rescued as a cub from rather mysterious circumstances. Eventually, Kiara was handed over to a shelter in Mexico where she could receive proper care and attention. During her time in the rescue in Mexico, Kiara would become close with her trainer, Adolfo. Adolfo is the second hero of our story.
Being Raised in Captivity
While we don’t know much about Adolfo or how he came into possession of Kiara, we do know that the pair became fast friends. There are plenty of photographs where Adolfo and Kiara are playing, snuggling, or otherwise relaxing in one another’s presence. It was clear to see that the two shared a real bond. Lions who are raised in captivity have the ability to socialize in a way that wild lions never do. It gives us the chance to see another side of the amazing species.
Kiara Needed a New Home
As Adolfo helped to raise and train Kiara, it became quickly apparent that she would not get to stay with him forever. Even though Adolfo had become something of an adoptive father to Kiara, he knew that she was going to need a bigger and better place to live. Adolfo had to say farewell to his growing cub and that meant that there story was coming to an end.
Saying Farewell to Adolfo
After putting the event off as long as possible, Adolfo finally said goodbye to Kiara. Adolfo shared several photos and videos to his social media account showing he and Kiara hugging. Adolfo made it abundantly clear that he would someday reunite with Kiara, though he couldn’t say when, where, or how that would happen.
Growing Apart and Forgetting Adolfo
After Kiara was transferred to another preserve, Adolfo figured that, by and large, their story had come to an end. Even if he were to come to visit Kiara, how would she remember him after being apart for so long? Would she even vaguely recognize him? After putting off the reunion, Adolfo finally gave in. He had to see if Kiara would remember him.
Until One Fateful Day….
Adolfo packed his bags and traveled to Kiara’s new home. When he arrived, it was clear that something was coming back to Kiara. The lioness paced back and forth in her enclosure as she began to sense something in the air. Was Kiara upset? Was she scared of Adolfo? Did she even know who Adolfo was?
Adolfo and Kiara Share a Moment of Uncertainty
Showcasing courage far more bountiful than my own, Adolfo eventually made his way to her enclosure. Staring at the lion from the other side of the cage had to have been nervewracking. Could you go through with stepping into the cage? Even though Adolfo had raised Kiara, there had to be a part of him that was slightly concerned.
And Then Kiara Remembered
After a moment of hesitation, Kiara suddenly showed a surge of love and happiness. The giant lioness made her way over to her former trainer wherein she immediately leaped into his arms. The two shared a loving embrace that was impossible to deny. Kiara had remembered Adolfo and Adolfo had come back for her. If you’ve ever seen a happy housecat, you know exactly how Kiara began to behave.
Remembering One Another
Even though Adolfo had voiced concerns about her forgetting him, he had still stepped through the door and into the cage. As with any wild animal, you never know how they are going to act until you get there. The fact that Kiara had embraced Adolfo as she had, had meant that she had remembered everything about him. This was a huge moment because it said so much about both Kiara and Adolfo.
Welcome to the Pack
More than just a friend to Kiara, Adolfo became a friend to all of the other large cats at the preservation. Here we can see a stunning photo of Adolfo lounging with the big cats at the protected site. We have to imagine that if any cat had trouble with Adolfo, they’d also have trouble with Kiara.
Truth to Human and Animal Bonds
After refusing to listen to his own instincts, Adolfo was able to prove that a bond existed between himself and Kiara. The truth is that animal and human bonds can be dated back to the very origin of our civilization. There is even proof that cavemen had animal companions during their time period. Why was it so crazy for Kiara to remember Adolfo? As it turns out, this hot-button topic will be worth exploring later.
Adolfo and Kiara Go Viral
While we can debate the human and animal connection forever, we can’t ignore the fact that Adolfo’s post quickly went viral. Adolfo isn’t the first animal trainer to be embraced by his furry friend, but he definitely had the attention of the people. Adolfo’s love of Kiara isn’t weird at all when you consider that ancient Egyptians would shave their hair in order to mourn the loss of their pets.
Personification vs. Empathy
At this point in time, we have to ask ourselves about the differences between personification and human empathy. Personification entails ascribing human-like traits to non-human beings. Was Kiara remembering Adolfo in a loving way or was she remembering someone who fed and trained her? The argument has been hotly debated in the scientific community for ages.
Arguing for Animal Empathy
Some researchers and behavioral scientists believe that animals can possess empathy. If animals can be empathetic to someone, that means that they can employ a broad range of emotions in order to decide how they act. If this were to be proven, that would fundamentally change how we look at the animals in our world. What’s more, the truth of animal empathy would make extinctions all the more heartbreaking.
Is This True Love
With all of the context that we provided, it’s hard to find fault in people who want to claim that Adolfo and Kiara are in a real relationship. If Kiara has empathy and memory, then her feelings toward Adolfo are completely valid. She is no longer operating as a simple animal, she is remembering someone that she cared about. Isn’t there something heartwarming about seeing an apex predator like Kiara embrace Adolfo?
Playing With Her Family
While the emotional aspect of the experience is definitely interesting, it wasn’t the only reason that the video went viral. As Adolfo and Kiara continued their reunion, they captured amazing photos and videos of all sorts of things. Here we can see Kiara and Adolfo playing a training game. Would you have the courage to try this game?
Not All Interactions Are Friendly
While the interactions between Adolfo and Kiara are straight from a movie, not all interactions with lions are the same. Here we see Siegried & Roy, the famous Vegas performers who had incorporated a lion into their routine. While we are sure that Siegried & Roy thought they had been careful, that isn’t quite the case.
Roy Horn and the Famous Lion
In 2003 during a live show, Roy Horn was attacked by his white lion. The white lion would end up wounding Roy while simultaneously shutting the performance down for good. We have to point out that working with lions in preservations is not the same as using a wild animal for an entertaining show.
Human-Animal Bond Integral to Training
No matter what you think of lions in entertainment, the health and wellbeing of the creatures will depend on the bond that they share with their trainers. Like Adolfo, there are countless trainers working throughout the world to raise lions in a safe and humane way. Good people like Adolfo are working to preserve an at-risk species.
Scientific Controversy Swirls Around Humans and Animals
One of the most fascinating areas of research in the wildlife community centers around human emotion. More specifically, scientists are interested in whether lions can FEEL the same way that humans can. We know that their heart rate can increase and their hormones can surge in certain situations, but is there a psychological reaction, as well?
Meet the Incredible Lion Whisperer
While we aren’t going to root out answers to all of our questions, people like Kevin ‘The Lion Whisperer’ Richardson are helping us to get there. Richardson is another lion trainer who has made a name for himself for his work in South Africa. In fact, Richardson is so impressive as a trainer that he is routinely pictured cuddling with the lions that he has worked with.
Improving the Lion’s Reputation
While we must always be wary when around wild animals, the work that Richardson and Adolfo are undertaking offers us something special. People like Richardson and Adolfo are playing integral roles in changing the tide on public opinion of lions. While you should never approach a lion, you should also not fear them from the comfort of your home.
Work of the Black Jaguar – White Tiger Foundation
At the Black Jaguar – White Tiger Foundation, people like Richardson and Adolfo are working to rescue and care for as many wild cats as they can. It was this foundation that gave Kiara a home and it will be this foundation that saves several more cats just like her. The foundation is also working to prevent as much illegal hunting as they possibly can.
Meet the Foundation’s Owner
The Black Jaguar – White Tiger Foundation was established in 2013 by Eduardo Serio. Eduardo Serio is a businessman who opted to establish the foundation due to his own affinity for wild animals. Serio launched the foundation after discovering a jaguar cub being displayed in a random pet store in Monterrey, Mexico. Serio rescued the animal before establishing a foundation in its honor. You can see the little jaguar cub pictured above.
Focusing on What is Important
You don’t have to scroll through social media for long before seeing a celebrity with a wild animal. Whether you are looking at musicians who have exotic pets or celebrities who want extra clout on Instagram, people like Serio think that these are the wrong messages to send. While we’re sure that Paris Hilton doesn’t mean anything by this photo, preservation specialists don’t want people to think of big cats as accessories.
Where Did Kiara Get Her Name
In any event, it is clear that Kiara is in a great place with great people watching after her. She even has a pretty name. In Italian, Kiara translates to ‘bright’. In Hindi, Kiara translates to ‘God’s precious gift’. We also have to mention that Kiara was the main character in ‘Lion King II: Simbas Pride’.
Staying Close to Kiara
After letting Kiara leave for her transfer, Adolfo has made the decision to stay in her life. Adolfo routinely posts videos and pictures on his social media account of the two playing together. He also celebrates Kiara’s birthday and even sends her gifts as if she were his daughter. We think that Kiara is going to be just fine.
Other Stories Like Adolfo and Kiara
While Kiara and Adolfo are the subjects of today’s story, they aren’t the first lion-trainer bond that we’ve heard of. In fact, there have been several high-profile stories surrounding lions happily reuniting with their former trainers. To learn more about this fascinating concept, we’re going to introduce you to Christian the Lion.
Meet Christian the Lion
Christian was a lion born in the Ilfracombe Zoo in Devon back in 1969. Christian had been rejected by his mother and was no longer part of the litter. As a result, Christian had to be raised in special circumstances. Eventually, Christian found his way to John Rendall and Ace Bourke. The two had wanted to save Christian, so they made him a home with the goal of returning the animal to Kenya.
Returning to Kenya
Thankfully, John and Ace realized that they shouldn’t keep the pet in London. They arranged for Christian to head home with the Kenyan Wildlife Services. With any luck, Christian would get the chance to be reintroduced to the wild in a safe and effective way. While John and Ace loved their big cat, they knew it was for the best. John and Ace would return years later to meet Christian whereupon the cat would instantly recognize them.
Support Animal Preservation
If you want to make a difference in the world, supporting animal conservation efforts is a great way to do so. The African Wildlife Foundation is dedicated to protecting and conserving as much of the lands and wildlife of Africa as possible. Their goal is to create a more sustainable future for Africa and the animals that live there.
These Top Secret Air Force One Facts Will Leave You Mystified!
Air Force One is the official call sign for the aircraft that carries the President of the United States. The first iteration of Air Force One came about in 1943 when the U.S. Army Air Forces made clear their concern about having the President of the United States travel aboard commercial airlines. In the years ever since, Air Force One has become an intrinsic part of pop-culture and America at large. Despite how public Air Force One has been since its inception, we are going to delve into a few fascinating top-secret Air Force One facts that you probably did not learn about in school!
These Stunning Facts About ‘I Dream Of Jeannie’ Will Send You On Another Binge Watch!
When it comes right down to it, is there any television show from the ’60s more iconic than I Dream of Jeannie? The series starred Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden as an astronaut – genie duo looking to navigate through life with a little extra magic shared between them. Despite the show being canceled more than 50 years ago, I Dream of Jeannie has spawned one of the most loyal and ravenous fanbases in entertainment history. In order to satiate your thirst for more Jeannie content, we’ve pulled together a list of the most incredible unknown facts about the show!
I cured my dog’s bad breath with a natural product
Micky, my cute and adorable beagle, had horrible dog breath. When she hopped into bed, it would wake me up. I wanted a simple, natural solution.
Apples and Carrots
Beagles eat anything, so I tried the whole food route first. First, I fed Micky apple slices. I cut up two apples and gave her chunks throughout the day. No improvement in breath odor, but she did need a midnight outing to take care of tummy issues. Next, I tried carrots. No breath improvement there either, but her bright orange poo was the talk of the dog park the next day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has acquired the reputation of a natural wonder. Advocates claim it can fix anything from yeast infections on paws to bladder stones. Plus, I had a bottle left over from a broken New Years Resolution to drink a tablespoon a day. I put a few drops in Micky’s water bowl. She wouldn’t touch it. I dumped the water and tried a smaller dose. No luck. Sneak drinking from the toilet bowl was not helping the situation, so I mixed apple cider vinegar with peanut butter. That worked on getting into the beagle. Now I had a beagle that smelled like an apple-peanut butter sandwich, but she still had putrid breath.
On to the next miracle cure … coconut oil. Like the apple cider vinegar, I had a bottle of organic coconut oil in the pantry. (I’m very good at buying regimental cures, but not so good at staying on the regimen.) Discovery: Micky LOVES coconut oil. I poured two tablespoons over her dry dog food, and she gobbled. But, alas, her breath still stank after a few days.
Greenies Dental Dog Treats
After I ran out of inexpensive whole food options, I decided to look into commercial products for the canine breath problem. I’ve heard a lot about Greenies Dental Dog Treats, so I ordered a bag of the regular size. Greenies look like bones with a toothbrush on one it. The design is supposed to clean teeth and gums. They even control tartar! Greenies was my first success. Micky’s gum buildup disappeared within a week. And her breath was definitely better. Not good, but much better than pass-out stinky.
Bones and Chew Dental Sticks
Near success with Greenies spurred me on to try other “dental” treats. There are a ton of choices with organic, natural, and healthy ingredients. The one that worked for my smelly beagle breather was Bones and Chew All-Natural Dental Sticks. The churro-design scrapes teeth clean from plaque and tartar. They break apart easily (nice for saving a bit of money). Micky’s general approach to food is to swallow fast and let her stomach do the hard work, but she chews on Bones and Chew for a few minutes. It took a few days, but Micky no longer has stinky breath. So life is back to cuddles and kisses.
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