Saving Serabie: How a Volunteer Rescued “Her” Lion From Canned Hunting

Alexandra Lamontagne

Wildlife heroes come in different genders and from different countries. They can be your next-door neighbor who rescues an injured duck on the side of the road. They can be the person who takes on a great personal and financial challenge to rescue an animal in a faraway country. This is the story of wildlife heroine Alexandra Lamontagne from Montreal, Canada.

Alexandra Lamontagne

Like most foreign visitors to South Africa, Alexandra wanted to spend her vacation time volunteering with animals. She chose a game reserve that told her she would be working with vervet monkeys. But upon arrival, she learned the reserve had five lion cubs she would help care for. She asked specific questions about the lion cubs, where they came from, where they would go when older, and never really got the truth. “I didn’t know about trophy hunting, and no lions were supposed to be at this place. I was in charge of five cubs and I was asking a lot about them like where they came from and where they will go, etc. Nobody really answered me,” she exclaimed.

And then, one day, when she was home in Canada, she heard where one of the cubs was going — a private game reserve known for its trophy hunts. “It’s when I came back from South Africa that someone from the volunteer place told me [the cubs] were from a trophy hunting place, [that] four of them were going to a zoo, and Serabie was going back to the trophy-hunting place.”

Serabie, the lion cub Alexandra bonded with, was destined for the private game reserve known for its trophy hunts. This shocking news compelled Alexandra to do something she didn’t think she would ever do — rescue Serabie.

Alexandra and Serabie at the volunteer site
(image credit: Alexandra Lamontagne)

Saving Serabie

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