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Sex: Female
Born: December 25, 2011
Loving Adoptive Parent: Marsha Little - Richmond, VA
Loving Sponsor: Melissa Westfall - Greenwich, CT

Noel was born on a cold and blustery day in late December 2011. Since her name is Noel, can you guess which day that was? No, it wasn’t Pan American Airlines Day (although that is a good guess). Noel was born on Christmas Day!

Noel has grown up to be a perfect lioness, both loving and fierce. She loves to play, especially soccer with her bowling balls first thing in the morning - it helps get the blood going and start the day off right! She loves attention from visitors and especially from her CAREtakers.

Giving Noel attention is more important than it has ever been now. In the summer of 2017, Noel unexpectedly lost her lifetime mate, Mwali. The two had been together since they were cubs. At only 5 years old, the two were in their prime - but one day Mwali went to sleep and never woke up. While we believe Mwali had some form of a congenital defect in his gall bladder and liver and/or his heart - we were never able to determine an exact cause of death. Not only were all of his CAREtakers in shock and grieving over his loss, but it also left his beautiful Noel heartbroken. Because lions are such social animals and form very deep bonds with one another, the loneliness that Noel experienced after Mwali's passing was devastating. However, because of the most amazing support of CARE's donors and friends, Noel's sadness was lifted just a tiny bit with an outpouring of love the likes we have never seen.

Since Noel was little, she played with stuffed animals. In fact, she and Mwali still had a stuffed animal in their enclosure that they had since they were cubs. So, when Mwali's death left Noel all alone, we asked our supporters to please send her stuffed animals so she would have something to cuddle with for the next weeks while she adjusted to her new situation. We didn't just get a few stuffed animals - we got over 100 - and very large ones at that. Noel had her enclosure filled with soft friends to play with and sleep with. It gave her something soothing to keep her occupied and really played a big part in transitioning her to being by herself. We still give Noel extra attention and love to make sure she knows she really isn't alone and that lots of us love her very much!