TAAI - THE AFRIKAANS WORD FOR "TOUGH"
Angel of Fire gave birth to 6 cubs on 26th October 2013. She was a good mother and cared for her cubs. Angel of Fire was only comfortable feeding 4 cubs and would stand up and shake them all off of her teats if the 5th and 6th cub tried to latch on. She would move a few meters away and lie down again, whilst the little blind cubs would sniffle through the veld until they found her. It was not always the same 4 who got to suckle; it seemed almost balanced for the first few days with all 6 cubs getting a chance to feed. We watched from a hidden vantage point and by day 6 we noticed that one cub was becoming weaker and was more often than not, the one who didn’t get to its mother’s teat. On day 7 that cub stopped moving around and died. The same pattern continued with the other cubs until day 10. On the morning of the 6th November 2013 we observed that there was one cub who was not managing to keep up with the others, he would be the 5th to get to his mother, she would shake the cubs off and move away, the 4 cubs would crawl to her and start drinking, he would head off in the wrong direction and take ages to sniffle his way to her, upon locating her, his mother would stand up and shake the cubs off again. We watched periodically throughout the day. Between 5pm and 7pm, the 5th cub never found his mother, he was lethargic and only moved around in a small area. On the only occasion that he stumbled near to his mother, she hit him away leaving a wound on his forehead and back. We decided to pick him before night fell.
The 5th cub got the name Taai from Shanead and Leon. It is Afrikaans for tough.
Taai was an only child in that he was the only lion cub we had. He followed me around and I think he thought he was one of the dogs. He slept on my bed until he was 18 months old at which time I was forced to leave him. He was put into a cage for the first time and was taught by means of electric shocks. It took me two years to get him.
On 10th March 2017 the LLA team went to fetch him and they brought him to Love Lions Alive Sanctuary where he will safely live for the rest of his natural life.
Born: 28th of October 2013
Arrived at LLA Sanctuary: 10th of March 2017
Lives with: Mela
Parents: Stripey (father) and Angel of Fire (mother)
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