Leo and Moneca are an intimate couple that withstood a number of difficulties and yet stuck together until the very end.
Leo, Moneca, and their children were rescued from a circus in Peru by Animal Defenders International (ADI) in 2014. A circus isn’t one of the friendliest places for a Lion to be.
According to a research article, it is not exciting or fun at all for the Lions and other animals used by circuses for shows and entertainment. They are often threatened into performing with whips, sticks, and even tazers.
So, it was more than a dream come true for Leo and his family members to be saved!
However, the journey wasn’t smooth for Leo and Moneca. Leo and his sons – Chino, Coco, and Rolex – were the lucky ones on ADI’s first attempt to save the family. The circus retaliated midway through the rescue mission and blocked the rescue before going into hiding.
Because of this tragic event, Leo and Moneca were separated for several months without any connection. A sad turn of events indeed!
Luckily for Leo, Moneca and their daughters – Africa and Kiara – were found six months later, 600 miles away!
After their cute and happy reunion, they have spent every moment together as a family by maneuvering their 4 acres of habitat together and sleeping together.
Leo gave Moneca more attention and was the first to notice when she was sick in August. He became more defensive and supportive of her. “Leo has always watched over Moñeca, but when she became unwell, he clearly realized something was wrong,” Jan Creamer, president of ADI said.
Just like every caring husband will care for his wife, Leo cuddles up with Muneca to provide a source of comfort and even persuades her to eat. Leo never left her side as he was seen cuddling her non-stop.
It is also a proven fact that cuddling elevates the level of closeness and bonding that exists between lion pairs. Leo and Moneca were not an exception, as they cuddled multiple times during their courtship years!
Unfortunately for Leo, Muneca, who was now 19 years old, kicked the bucket in September. We can only imagine how draining it must have been for him.
Throughout this, Leo’s caregivers ensured that he was given extra attention to help him recover from the loss of his dear wife.