Bolero the lion gets a new toy!

After partnering with Pikes Peak Community College’s Zookeeping Technology program, we received a cube made from old firehose. The firehose is cut to length and weaved together, with a chain coming out of the top so it can be hanged from fencing or a pole.

This thing is HEAVY! Weighing in at 45 pounds, we knew it would fit perfectly as a lion toy. And our founder, Matt, had just the cat in mind. You’d be surprised that it wasn’t originally for Bolero!

Before starting the WildHeart Foundation, Matt worked as an exotic animal trainer in Hollywood. While there, he worked with a rescued female lion named Gypsy. They formed a very special bond, and the best part of Matt’s day was going into work and seeing his lion. Gypsy was eventually relocated to Wildlife Waystation, outside of Los Angeles.

Matt contacted Wildlife Waystation and had the firehose cube shipped out to California as a present for Gypsy. After receiving the toy, they hung it in her enclosure and found out a critical flaw: she was afraid of it! The staff at the Waystation tried putting treats on it and spraying it with perfume and other scents, but she didn’t want to go near it. However, after multiple attempts, they noticed that Bolero was closely watching from the next enclosure.

Plans were quickly changed and Bolero got his wish! He had a brand new (to him) toy made from old recycled firehose. He loves to swat it around and watch it swing!bolero-067