First published in the Mail on Sunday on 27 October 2019.
Looking regal and majestic, he lay on a wooden platform with his proud head and golden mane held high. He appeared to be back to his rightful position as the “king of the jungle”.
It was a poignant and emotional moment for me as: the first time that I had ever set eyes on Simba. Six months earlier, my investigative team had rescued him from certain death from a hunting area on the edge of the Kalahari desert, South Africa.
Back in April, maltreated, malnourished, drugged and abused, he was destined to become someone’s trophy in a “canned hunt”: one in which the lion is shot in a severely-enclosed space with no chance of escape.