We rescued Malikai and his brother, Dinari, from a dilapidated roadside zoo in 2002. Malikai lived in a crowded cage with 6 other lions which was covered with cloth and offered insufficient shelter. His only toy was a ball that sat inside of an empty rubber water dish.
Since there was no running water or electricity, many of the animals had no fresh drinking water. At meal time, the keepers would throw food over the fence leaving it up to the lions to claim their own portion. Malikai, who was a young lion at the time of his rescue, was housed next to adult tigers who bit off the top parts of his ears. He suffered from coccida and a number of worms
Initially, we were told that Malikai was about 10 months old and around 100 lbs, but much to our surprise, we discovered he was actually about 15 months old and close to 200 lbs at the time of rescue. With proper medical care, a nutritious diet, lots of love and enrichment, Malikai is now a happy, healthy, full-grown lion. He suffers from a bone disease called Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which is due to a lack of proper nutrition early in his life. He walks with a limp, but that doesn’t slow him down much. He likes to have his back rubbed through the fence, and he loves playing with his toys in his large playground. He likes to play in his pool but prefers to stand outside of the pool and bob a ball with his front paws. Dinner time is always a favorite for Malikai. He gobbles up whatever food we give him and would steal his brother’s food if given the chance. Malikai and his brother often treat our visitors and volunteers to their beautiful “songs.”