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In late 2003, PrideRock provided a new home to a 6 month old lion cub named Pharaoh. A USDA Licensed Exhibitor found him in a less than favorable environment, full of ring worms, skinny and very unhappy. Feeling sorry for the poor little tyke, he called PrideRock to see if we could accept him. Even though we were very short on space and resources, we just couldn't turn him down and leave him where he was.
When Pharaoh arrived at PrideRock he was not what you would call a happy camper, or to put it another way, this boy definitely had an attitude. At their first meeting, while Pharaoh was being feed a bottle, Gary stayed at his side trying to calm him with long strokes down his back like his mother might do if he were nursing. Then without any warning, and with a snarl worthy of a junior king of beasts, he reached all the way back around with his paw, quick as a flash and tried to scratch Gary. Thankfully, Gary is very quick on his feet and always completely alert when around any big cat as he jumped back quickly to avoid injury.
Unfortunately, Carol's first encounter with Pharaoh during his first hour at PrideRock didn't go any better. While holding Pharaoh's bottle to feed him, Pharaoh decided he wanted it all to himself and took a healthy swipe at Carol, knocking the bottle from her hand as he tried to take the bottle away.
However, once at PrideRock, Pharaoh seemed to settle down almost immediately. He received constant attention from Gary and Carol as well as from the animals immediately surrounding his pen. It seemed that Pharaoh knew almost immediately that he finally had a safe home.
Within a week of his arrival at PrideRock Pharaoh seemed like a different cat. Gary and Carol gave him medication to help his current conditions and protect him from other medical dangers a young lion might confront.
But the most important thing that Carol and Gary gave Pharaoh was PrideRock's own special kind of love. If anyone thinks that these animals who have to spend their lives in captivity don't want and need love and interaction, they don't understand these animals' true needs at all.
In just a couple of weeks, Pharaoh became so well mannered and is now a full grown majestic, handsome lion that is one of the kings of PrideRock.