Roman is our only male lion with a mane. He is a bit smaller in stature than most male lions but his mane is quite impressive and a fan favorite. Roman is your typical male lion who takes charge of his “pride”. When he and Reina are fed a large piece of meat together, he always eats first, as he would in the wild. Roman, though, is also like a typical male lion in that he spends most of his day napping. Like lions in the wild, Roman can sleep up to 20 hours a day.
How Roman Came to the Sanctuary
Roman came to Carolina Tiger Rescue along with his enclosure-mate, Reina, from a failing rescue in Ohio. This sanctuary, Rescue One, was on the verge of closing due to lack of funding and new legislation the state of Ohio put into place after an incident in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011. In Zanesville, a private owner released 56 of his lions, tigers, cougars, wolves, leopards, and bears before committing suicide. Unfortunately, law enforcement was forced to shoot the animals due to concerns for public safety. The following year, Ohio banned private ownership of dangerous wild animals. The owner of Rescue One decided to close on her own and contacted Carolina Tiger Rescue to take some of her animals. Carolina Tiger Rescue rescued Roman and Reina Lion, Roscoe and Camilla Tiger, and Nakobi and Jericho Cougar in 2012.
Roman is a very stoic lion who enjoys sleeping like his wild cousins. He can often be found up on top of his den box sleeping in the sun and keeping an eye on his “kingdom”. Roman is in charge of his pride and will often snarl or roar at Reina if he feels she is out of line. He eats first and Reina will often have to hide her leftovers from him.
Roman is your typical male lion who lets Reina do most of the work but ensures she knows he is in charge. Roman would get very greedy when given treats and steal the treat sticks, so he no longer is able to receive treats until he learns some manners. Roman has a loud roar and is not afraid to remind the other lions in the sanctuary of his presence.
Roman lives on tour with Reina Lion on Oak Hill. They live next to Tio Tiger.
Before rescued by Rescue One, Roman and Reina were involved in "cub petting". This is when the public is able, typically for a fee, to take pictures with and play with baby wild animals. This is a huge detriment to the animals involved. The cubs that are used for "cub petting" are taken from mothers within days of their birth so they do not imprint on their mothers and so their mother will go back into heat and can have more babies sooner. These cubs are also often sedated to prevent them from being too playful with the public. A playful cub can often inflict harm on a human unintentionally, as they have sharp claws and teeth. These cubs are also underfed to keep them small and to keep them hungry so they will be interested in the bottle of milk the public usually holds to keep the animal still on their lap. These cubs can only legally be used for the first couple months of their lives then they are deemed too dangerous, which leads many of them to be destroyed, sold into the pet trade, or sold to roadside zoos.