Luckily, there are amazing people out there like Vicky Keahey, who founded the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center in Texas, and they have been able to come into these animals' lives and make a difference.
The rescue center was officially established by Keahey in 2000 and has been caring for "neglected, abused, and unwanted exotic felines," ever since, this according to their website.
In 2015, Keahey got a call about one extremely adorable exotic feline that needed help- Lambert the lion. Lambert was unwanted by the people who were caring for him at the time and he was rescued by Keahey and the incredible folks at In-Sync.
Sadly, at the very tender age of three months, the tiny cub was very frightened and was exhibiting high levels of anxiety. Keahey's intuitive response, which made all the difference in the world to the lion cub, was to give him a simple blanket, a security of sorts.
Take a look at the photos below to see how Keahey's kindness- and that single blanket- changed the life of this amazing lion cub. As a full-grown lion two years later? That blanket has never left his side...
Back in 2014, Keahey got a call about 3-month-old Lambert.
According to Keahey, "A private owner had [illegally] purchased Lambert for his 2-year-old and 3-year-old children after going to see the movie The Lion King. The little kids told their daddy they wanted a Simba, so he went out and bought one."
However, when faced with reality, the family quickly came to the decision that they no longer wanted Lambert. Keahey and the amazing workers at In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue stepped in.
Unfortunately, for little Lambert, he had high levels of anxiety when he was put into his new enclosure.
By being raised in a regular home, poor Lambert was not used to his new surroundings. It wasn't possible for him to be released because of his domesticated start to life. He was unprepared for the unknowns of being a wild lion.
So Keahey came up with a brilliant idea. She said, "We had heard from the previous owners that he slept in the bed with the grandfather."
So the inspired decision was made by Keahey to give Lambert his own warm blanket.
She said, "I got him a blanket, went into the enclosure and put the blanket in one of the corners. He curled up on that blanket and he went right to sleep."
Keahey's bright idea worked like a charm!
Lambert started to warm up to his new home at the rescue center and also to it's wonderful staff. But, he also learned that he loved having a blanket, fresh out of the dryer, that he could curl up in and go to sleep.
Even now, two years later, with Lambert all grown up into a large male lion...
He still sleeps with his blanket, exactly as he had as an adorable little cub.
Keahey said that every night since that very first time two years ago, she has brought him a warm blanket to snuggle up in.
Now that he's a big boy, Lambert has taken to many kinds of fun habits and activities- but his blanket is always close by.
Keahey says that Lambert enjoys putting his feet into the plastic supply tubs and using them to skate around in his enclosure.
"So one of the volunteers at the rescue built him an actual skateboard. Sure enough, he put both of his feet on it and started skating around on it."
Lambert recently celebrated his birthday on March 22, and his presents consisted of his favorite blanket (of course) and several garbage cans, which were promptly and thoroughly destroyed. In the video below, watch Lambert having the time of his life trashing his cans!
Due to high temperatures in Texas, when he isn't skateboarding, obliterating trash cans, or snuggling up on his blanket, Lambert enjoys playing in the rescue's water fountain. What a perfect way to cool down on a hot, sunny day!
Many thanks to Keahey and the other rescue workers. Because of them Lambert was given a second chance at life, and he has a real home where he will be happy and healthy. He is surrounded by people who love him and care very deeply about him.
He might look like the king of the jungle, but he'll always be that sweet little lion cub, who curled up on his favorite blanket for security and warmth.
Take a look at Lambert's video below, and then let us know what you think about him and his blanket!
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