Chapter four - The strange animals
Sunny hit the bottom of the hole.
It’s big and cold and there’s water up to his neck.
Staring up he can see the top is so far away he’ll never be able to climb back out. But still he scrab-bles at the slippery walls, again and again, sometimes getting a little higher but always splashing back down.
Up at the top of the hole he sees the glowing moon and sky full of twinkling stars.
He roars and roars and roars.
Suddenly he hears sounds and… recognises a smell… it’s those strange new animals…
And they’re calling to one another.
“There’s a lion in the well!”
Sunny is more scared than he’s ever been in his life. He feels weak and tired and one of his legs hurts. It’s bleeding. What are the animals going to do if they find him?
As the sun starts to rise, the voices continue. Faces peer over the edge.
“Stand back! Don’t scare him!”
“Where’s the Rapid Response Unit?”
Then something very, very strange starts to happen. Slowly, from the top of the hole, something big is lowered down. It’s one of the animals from above! Very tall, standing on their hind legs, with fur only on their head and a very unusual coat pattern. They arrive face to face with Sunny, on a plat-form, protected in a sort of box.
They make more noises at Sunny that he doesn’t understand.
“Don’t worry, we’re going to get you out of here. You’re safe now.”
Then, quicker than the sting of a hornet, something hits him in the side.
Everything goes black.
Slowly Sunny starts to wake. He feels very groggy and confused. Where is he?
He can hear noises... chirruping... is that…langur monkeys?
He opens his eyes slowly. He’s looking up through massive branches and dappled sunlight. He’s back at the banyan tree!
He licks his leg, it doesn’t hurt too much now - but it tastes funny. His hair around the area is all gone and, somehow, it’s been cleaned.
Something thuds against his head, something large and…lionlike.
Sunny recognises it’s smell. It’s one of the cubs from his old pride! Only a little bit younger than himself, he’s been banished by the lionesses too. Sunny gets to his feet, he still feels a bit wobbly. He rubs heads with the lion happily and they lick each other solidifying their new friendship. It’s scary being a lion on your own in the forest, but with two of them, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with!
From now on they can travel together, exploring and hunting and protecting each other until even-tually they can take over a pride of their own.
After an extremely long nap, Sunny and his new partner set out into the sunset. Ready for a new adventure to begin.
Thank you so much for adopting the Asiatic lions/Sunny the Asiatic lion, we really hope you’ve en-joyed following his story.
By supporting ZSL with your adoption you help us to protect animals around the world - just like our project training Rapid Response Units in Gujarat, India, to rescue lions from wells and provide ex-pert veterinary care.
We hope this isn’t the end of your journey with ZSL, together there’s so much good we can do for wildlife and people.
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