Tag Archives: Villa Lorena

Animal gratitude: 550-lb. lion hugs woman who rescued him

The saying “no good deed goes unpunished” applies only to humans, but not to animals who never forget a kindness and repay it with gratitude.

Gary Sledge reports for Reader’s Digest that in 1999, Ana Julia Torres rescued a severely malnourished cub, Jupiter, from a traveling circus in Colombia.

She brought the cub to Villa Lorena, a wildlife animal rescue and sanctuary she established in 1984 in Cali, Colombia’s third-largest city.

She said that when Jupiter first came to the shelter, “I would enter his cage and hold him like a baby while I gave him his medicine. That is how our relationship started.”

12 years later, now weighing 550 pounds with a luxuriant mane and paws the size of dinner plates, Jupiter greets Torres by rising on his hind legs to 6½ feet and wrapping his huge forelegs around her in a gentle embrace while Torres plants a big kiss on his muzzle.

Torres says: “Jupiter’s hug is the most loving and sincere I’ve ever received in my life. I can see the shine in his eyes. I think of it as his way of telling me thank you.”

See also these other cases of animal gratitude:

~Eowyn

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