27 -year-old Lucian Craita, from Romania, parted ways with his pet lion, Richie, after raising him in his backyard for over a year.
Lucian has always had always had a thing for lions and when he had the chance to buy one for a pet, from an animal market, he didn’t hesitate. Richie cost him just 1,000 euros and he never regretted spending the money. Over a year and a half of living together, Lucian and Richie developed a truly special relationship, so you can imagine the young man’s grief when he had to hand his pet lion over to the Vier Pfoten animal association.
The Romanian gave up his friend voluntarily, after realizing he couldn’t offer it the life it deserved. Now Richie will be taken to Lion’s Rock Lion Reservation, in South Africa, where he can be with his own kind. Because Richie spent so much time as a house pet, he will never be a real lion, but at least he’ll enjoy being free in the savanna.
Photos by REUTERS via Xinhua