The Zambi Wildlife Retreat is the only facility for retired exotic animals from Australian zoos and the movies.

The Sydney retreat is home to lions, tigers, monkeys and dingoes as well as rescued farm and domestic animals.

When he was just three weeks old, Kibulu the African lion cub met Donna Wilson.Kibulu’s mother had rejected him in favour of his siblings and zoo keepers quickly decided it wasn’t safe for him to stay.

So they called Donna from Zambi Wildlife Retreat in Western Sydney. ‘We named him Kibulu, which is Swahili for blue, because he had these unusual electric blue eyes when he arrived,’ Ms Wilson told Daily Mail Australia.

Nine months later, and weighing close to 80 kilograms, Kibulu still shares Donna’s bed most nights. He still carries his teddy bear around with him and he loves to suck on people’s thumbs. ‘This morning he just wouldn’t get out of bed, he’s a total sook,’ she said.


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