He tried to help her eat and hugged her
Leo and Munika have known each other almost all their lives.A pair of lions and their cubs were rescued from a circus in Peru in 2014 by Animal Defenders International (ADI).
They were separated briefly during their rescue, but other than that they were rarely ever separated.
«Leo and their sons, Chino, Coco and Rolex, were successfully removed during a raid on the first day of the mission in August 2014, but the circus blocked the seizure and then went into hiding,» ADI President Jan Kremer-told The Dodo.
«ADI caught up with them six months later and more than 600 miles away, rescuing Muneka and their daughters, Africa and Kiara… They were almost always together, exploring their 4-acre property and relaxing together under the trees.»
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In August, Monica suddenly fell ill, and Leo immediately became more protective of her than he already was.
«Leo has always watched over Muneka, but when she got worse, he knew for sure that something was wrong,» Kramer says.
While she was sick, Leo watched over Muneka and even hugged her to help her feel better.
In those moments, it was clear how much the couple loved each other, a beautiful example of lion love.»We’ve seen on many occasions the closeness of lion companions and the bonds they share,» Cramer said.
Studies have shown that lions hug each other to strengthen their social bonds, and Leo and Muneka have been caught hugging many, many times during their years together.Sadly, Munika passed away in September at the age of 19.
Leo stayed by her side until the end, and she left this world knowing exactly how much she loved him.
Leo’s rescuers watched him closely as he mourned the loss of his beloved Muneka.She gets lots of extra treats and attention to help her cope.
Although losing Muneka was heartbreaking, watching Leo take care of her was such a beautiful moment that everyone around her will remember for years to come.