Love for Noel
On June 30th, 2017 CARE suffered an unthinkable loss when 5 year old Mwali unexpectedly died. Not only were CARE staff, volunteers, and supporters devastated by his loss, he left his lifetime mate, Noel, all by herself. The two had been inseparable since they were both cubs, and lions are not meant to live alone, so in the midst of grief we were also worried about Noel's emotional health. CARE sent out a call to our friends and family to please help us provide comfort to Noel during a hard transition. Noel, and most of the big cats, love stuffed animals. Some like to destroy them, others (like Noel) keep them around for years to cuddle and play with. So, we asked for donations of as many "lion sized" stuffed animals as we could get - and the response from around the world was overwhelming in the best possible way.
People from all over the country, and even as far as Australia, sent beautiful stuffed animals by the truckload. Local children had their parents bring them by the facility so they could hand over their most prized possessions to a grieving lioness. Many people donated funds instead of sending stuffies - which was just as appreciated. In barely a week, CARE received over 110 stuffed animals in addition to blankets, monetary donations, and even the planting of 10 trees in Mwali's honor. We at CARE know how much we love these animals, but to see the outpouring of love from around the world that Noel has gotten has been one of the most beautiful and amazing experiences we have had.
Thank you so much to everyone who sent your love, whether in the form of toys or kind words and positive thoughts. This has been a hard time for all of us, and the kindness we have seen has been a shining light in the darkness.