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Farewell, wonderful Gypsy!

Gypsy, we will miss you!
© FOUR PAWS | Bogdan Baraghin

An obituary by our Head of Animal Welfare at LIONSROCK Hildegard Pirker


July 18, 2016 - This morning I woke up crying. Gypsy left us this weekend. We are devastated but happy she spent the rest of her life in dignity. Her last journey was surrounded by people who loved her.


Sadly, when we lose an animal at our Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK, I think of their lives before we rescued them and found comfort in the fact that we gave them the best possible life they could ever have. And even if it was just a very short period of time in their lives compared to the many, many years they had to suffer in sub-standard zoos, circuses or private keeping and nobody cared. WE care deeply for each and every lion, tiger or cheetah here at LIONSROCK, this is all that matters. Unfortunately, diseases are sometimes stronger than a beautiful soul…


Gypsy hasn't been a beautiful lioness according to her appearance, but she had a huge heart.
© FOUR PAWS | Bogdan Baraghin

Two years ago this very special lioness joined us at LIONSROCK and gave us joy, amazement and belief that even the worst cases can be turned into something good. We’ve rescued many big cats in the past, with the help of an amazing international team. Each rescue has its very own story and each team member has his/her favourite animal. But there are exceptions: Gypsy was one. The lioness, that looked more like a lion cub than an adult lioness. She was not a beauty according to her appearance. Gypsy was disabled since she was a baby lion due to ignorance of human leading to malnutrition. But even though her life was not easy and her body never healed completely the wounds human beings have caused her, she was showing us all how much strength, spirit and joy a lion could feel for simply being alive – even after years of mistreatment, deprived of all its rights for a species-appropriate life. The moment we first met Gypsy, we unconditionally fell in love with her. And even after her passing, we’ll always keep her in our hearts.


We will miss you dearly, beloved Gypsy! 

The last picture taken of lioness Gypsy in her indoor enclosure at our big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK.
© FOUR PAWS | 2016