June 6, 2014 - October 1, 2014

Loving Adoptive Parent: Lisa Kittredge – Addison, TX

Caring for animals brings infinite amounts of joy to those who choose this path in life. It is not without its hardships though and there is never anything more difficult than losing the animals we care for. We have had to say goodbye to many of our beloved friends, and it is never, ever, easy. However, we a fortunate that so many of our friends have gone after long lives, especially in recent years as our animals reach geriatric ages. In those cases, although is hard to watch once strong and powerful animals weaken and fade before our eyes, but we count ourselves lucky that we have time to prepare ourselves a little, and in some cases, even get to say our last goodbyes. We end up celebrating their long lives, hopefully made better by our care, while we mourn. Occasionally we are blindsided, losing an animal so quickly, so inexplicably, or so young that we are left devastated and confused. Unfortunately, on October 1st, we experienced this devastation when we found 3 month old Jelani lifeless.

He was so full of life just the day before, and then suddenly gone. With no visible signs of injury or trauma, our vet rushed over to perform a necropsy to give us answers. The necropsy offered none. All of his organs; his heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver showed no disease or abnormality, only a perfectly healthy little lion. After performing several lab tests and looking at all the info we have, our vet has determined that Jelani most likely had a congenital heart defect and it just stopped. Putting so much love, care, and experience into raising these cubs to be strong and healthy, only to lose one is shattering. We only know that we could not have done anything to prevent this, and his brothers are fine.

Although Jelani had only a brief time on this earth, he touched everyone who met him. He was the sweetheart, the mild-mannered cub, the gentle one. We also know that he touched so many of you who have followed the cubs' lives since they were born. You have seen them grow, their personalities emerge, and have imagined them developing into big, strong, magnificent adult lions. We know that this sad news will affect many of you, and we wish we were not delivering it. We are mourning, and we know you mourn with us. Jelani, his brothers, and all the animals at CARE have touched many hearts, and we ask you to please keep them there, in your hearts, and your thoughts.