Seeing Merlin the lion at the National Tiger Sanctuary in Missouri was magical. The big cat was rescued from life as a prop in a magic show. For a while, all he knew of life were the hard walls and floors of a concrete basement. Our guide told us that when he was first turned out into his new home, he was afraid of the grass; afraid the ground would collapse under his paws. Today, the handsome cat looks very content with his life and very unafraid of his big bright world.

Lion in the sunshine with fall foliage behind him.

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