Goodbye to gandalf

As we say another goodbye, we are reminded that this work isn’t easy. Sometimes the most difficult decision is the best decision. Many of the lions in sanctuary are nearly 20 years old, and this means there are many goodbyes ahead.

With each goodbye we must hold both grief and joy in each hand. Although it is painful to
say goodbye, we feel pride for the beautiful life Kevin gave and continues to give these animals. We feel gratitude for the opportunity to be a home to this diverse pack and to witness all the personalities that have emerged.

Gandalf was a HUGE lion. From adolescence he was large. His stature seemed to reflect his bold personality. Next to his timid brother Aslan, Gandalf radiated a bold and brazen
personality. Gandalf would strut up and down his enclosure, sometimes mock charging a
passerby, no doubt having some fun in watching them jump.

When some testosterone-fueled in-fighting began amidst the four male lions with whom he shared an enclosure, Gandalf was moved to share a space with lionesses Cusasa and Sibindi. These girls weren’t just going to roll over and accept this bold-faced, cocky lion… and boy, did they give him a run for his money! The girls tucked into him a gave him a solid initiation that resulted in a few impressive scars on his face. It didn’t take long however, for Mister Big to win them over, and he became a well-loved member of a tight-knit pride.

Gandalf emanated intimidating energy and raw power. When you stood in front of him, inspired the awe and reverance that humans have traditionally held for lions for thousands of years. He was a beautiful, wonderful lion – and despite his mean face, he loved Kevin and his fellow lions well.

Fly high big boy