Sheba is one of our two female lions and is shorter in stature than Reina, the other female. Sheba does not have the brown tuft of hair on the end of her tail that lions are known for. She is the smallest of the pride she lives with and our smallest lion in the sanctuary. Sheba enjoys bossing Sebastian, her enclosure-mate around, always ensuring she eats first and that he defers to her. Sheba can often be found sitting atop her denbox keeping an eye on the sanctuary and ensuring she is the first one to the fence when the food truck comes around.
How Sheba Came to the Sanctuary
Sheba was originally used as a “Pay-to-Pet” cub in Mexico and was walked up and down the beaches of Cancún on a leash. When she was about six months old, her owner decided she was too much to handle and she was rescued and sent to the Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in Texas. WAO shut down in 2010 and over 300 animals had to be rehomed. Carolina Tiger Rescue rescued ten animals, including three lions and seven tigers.
Sheba is the lion in charge of her pride. She is often food-aggressive. She picks on Sebastian but shows him affection also. Sheba is typically up and around more than Sebastian and patrols their territory very diligently. Sheba loves to catch and kill the black vultures that hang too close to her. It is not a surprise to anyone that at six months of age she became too much to handle and could no longer be walked on a leash. The good news is the owner found her a safe place to live and she eventually was rehomed here at Carolina Tiger Rescue; this will be her forever home.
Sheba is the smallest of our four lions but definitely has one of the biggest attitudes. Sheba is missing the brown tuft of hair on the end of her tail and it is unknown if that is due to an injury or if she was born without it.
Where in Sanctuary
Sheba lives on tour on Oak Hill with Sebastian Lion. Their enclosure is flanked by Roman and Reina Lions on one side and by India, Carolina, and Caprichio Tigers on the other.
Before rescued by the Wild Animal Orphanage, Sheba was walked up and down the beaches of Cancún as a "Pay-to-Pet" Cub. 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 their mothers within days of their birth so they do not imprint on their mothers and so that the 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 with their 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.