A video has been released by a Brazilian animal sanctuary which shows the moment that a 13 year old rescue lion felt grass beneath his feet for the first time. The footage, which was released by Rancho dos Gnomos Sanctuary, shows Will the lion, who was born into captivity and held in a circus for 13 years, being let out onto a grassy enclosure. The footage was taken in 2006, but was recently released to drum up support for the not for profit sanctuary, which houses over 230 animals.
In the video, Will can be seen stretching his limbs, kneading the earth and rolling around on the grass. His actions seem more like those of a playful kitten rather than a fully grown lion. However, as the sanctuary explained, the excited reaction is due to unfamiliarity with the ground beneath his feet. He was previously only used to cold, hard, metal floors.
Sadly Will died back in 2011, at the age of 18. However, in those final 5 years he lived a comfortable and contented life of relative freedom. After 13 years of living in a cramped cage, this was bliss for Will.