You Can Lead a Lion to Water

15:59 · 2019

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Update: This video is several months old at this point. Nikita had an abscessed tooth and has severe arthritis but was otherwise just fine. She has made a full recovery but is still incredibly old for a Lion. Watch her at

Nikita is over 18 years old with severe arthritis. She was found chained to a wall in a basement during a drug raid in Tennessee and had been declawed. They tried to introduce her to a pride at the zoo but because her first line of defense (her claws) were gone she couldn’t survive along side other cats. Lucky for her she came to live here at Big Cat Rescue over 18 years ago. She is extremely large for a Lioness, most likely due to mixed bloodlines in captive breeding in the US. She has been very healthy and this was the very first time in 18 years that she needed sedated. She had an abscessed tooth that was taken care of and put on a pain medication regiment. We are a retirement sanctuary for abandoned and abused big cats. We are accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and are fighting to make better laws to protect big cats from spending their lives in cages. Please use your voice for good -

Original post:But can you make her drink? Nikita the 18 year old lioness ate breakfast as usual this morning, but later in the day it was obvious that she felt horrible. She coughed some yesterday, but hasn't coughed at all today. Her keepers lured her into the shade and are trying to get her to drink or have a frozen treat to cool down. Meanwhile, the vets have been called and Dr Wynn may have to sedate her tonight if we can't get anti nausea meds into her today. It hurts to see her moving so slowly and being so uncomfortable. We will keep you posted.


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