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.
July 23, 2019
We have sad news to share about the loss of Sheba Lion. Sheba got overheated this past week due to vomiting after she ate her meal, not that she just got too hot because of the weather. The animal care team saw her vomit and kept watch over her the entire time. They called for additional help when it was clear that she was not able to recover on her own. We started her on cool IV and SubQ fluids and other cooling techniques. Unfortunately, her age made her more susceptible to the increased temperatures. It is likely that her kidneys and liver were already not in the best of condition before this and simply couldn’t handle the additional stress. At 17 plus years of age, most cats have some kidney issues or other health issues that make them more fragile.
Sheba will forever be remembered as the matriarch of the pride of three that came to us from Texas. She always kept Sebastian and Tarzan in line and was the first to work out new enrichment items. Her confidence and leadership was seen the moment she stepped into Quarantine on her first day. Rather than being worried about the new people, she felt the need to walk around and check out everything about her new space. She walked the perimeter, stood on her hind feet and looked at the roof, and sniffed every corner. While Sebastian and Tarzan hold a special place in my heart as the more delicate members of the pride, Sheba will also stand out to me as the epitome of what it means to be a lion – strong, confident, and smart. Her presence will be greatly missed in the sanctuary, but most especially on Oak Hill.
While I know that learning of the loss of Sheba is heartbreaking, I do want to take this time to reflect on the Carolina Tiger Rescue family. I have always said that one of the reasons I have been here so long is the people. And it’s true. The people that we have working here, both staff and volunteers, are incredible. Not only do I consider them friends, I’m always impressed with how they handle themselves. This crisis was no different. Not only did they respond quickly and professionally when things were critical, they kept going long after the sun had set and were back ready for more when things had not improved. We had staff at the house that stayed just as late to make sure we had back up and brought down food when it was clear we would not be leaving in time for dinner. There is no other team that I would rather have by my side. Thank you for all that you do every day, and even more for what you do when called upon in an emergency.