Saving Serabie – How one woman makes a difference

Saving Serabie

Serabie was a 5-month-old lion cub belonging to a facility breeding for canned hunting. Canned hunting is essentially a trophy hunt, where the animal is kept in a confined space, like a fenced area, with a 100% chance of killing. These animals are so habituated to humans that many of them do not even flee their killers.

Alexandra and Serabie © Alexandra Lamontagne
Alexandra and Serabie © Alexandra Lamontagne

This story tells about how Alexandra Lamontagne saved the tiny little lion cub

The place is called Bambelela Wildlife Care. For six weeks Alexandra was responsible for five cubs. It was a very rewarding experience. Four of these cubs were transferred to a zoo in Denmark. The youngest cub, a female, returned to a hunter reserve in Africa. It is therefore likely to be hunted. The Lions were in Bambelela because the person doing the mating could not take care of it. So she asked us to take care of it, otherwise, they would die.

The baby cub was named Serabie. Alexandra set up a crowdfunding campaign because she found a park ready to welcome it, the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuaray. Serabie now lives there with 2 other lions of her age. This park hosts animals rescued from zoos, circuses or hunters’ reserves. 

Serabie © Alexandra Lamontagne
Serabie © Alexandra Lamontagne

Volunteers pay to care for cubs like Serabie

Baby Lions, like Serabie, are often raised by vacationing volunteers, like Lamontagne, who believe they are helping animals and who rarely even know the bloody end that awaits these cubs. “I tried to find out, but I was never able to know the truth”. She was appalled when she learned Serabie was born just to be shot. She knew she had to do something.

When she returned to the facility, Lamontagne found Serabie in an enclosure with 14 other cubs. As Lamontagne looked around, she noticed there were new, younger cubs at the facility as well, in another enclosure. In yet another were larger lions. Lamontagne knew would probably be sent to an undisclosed canned hunting facility to be killed. So many lion cubs were being raised just so hunters could buy the right to shoot them.

A new life for Serabie at Emoya

Lamontagne did what she could: She prepared Serabie for a trip to Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, where the young cat would get the privilege of which so many others were robbed: Serabie would be able to live out her life. Even after the rescue, Lamontagne couldn’t eat, sleep or stop crying. The thought of the other lions being killed was too horrific. But word was starting to get out. Lamontagne was interviewed for the new MSNBC documentary “Blood Lions,” an exposé on the canned hunting industry. Serabie’s story was also turned into a video to raise awareness about canned hunting. 

Serabie and Siblings at the lion breeding farm © Alexandra Lamontagne
Serabie and Siblings at the lion breeding farm © Alexandra Lamontagne