Theo Allofs brings us a new selection of images about a conservationist named Valentin and Sirga, the lion cub he rescued and raised. In February of 2012 two conservationists, Mikkel Legarth and Valentin Gruener discovered that a lion pride with three cubs had suffered a tragedy in the African bush. Two of the cubs had been killed so the pride simply abandoned the third cub. This 10-day-old animal would have died from dehydration or starvation had the men not stepped in to save her. Weighing less than four and a half pounds they coordinated a treatment program for her with a local veterinarian. Since she was so severely dehydrated she had to be put on an IV drip before she was strong enough to drink from a bottle. They nursed her back to health with a concoction of fresh eggs, cream, milk, calcium, sunflower oil and vitamins. For the first eight months Valentin slept outside with her every night.
Named Sirga the little cub has grown into a healthy lioness. She interacts mainly with Legarth and Gruener to prevent excessive human contact and is given lots of room to roam and hunt in her natural habitat. Initially her surrogate parents would bring her animal carcasses to feed on but eventually she learned how to hunt her own prey.