Footage shared this week by the Rancho dos Gnomos Santuário in Brazil shows the thrilling moment a lion named Will experiences, for the first time, the feeling of soil and grass beneath his feet.

Prior to being rescued and taken to the sanctuary, Will had been forced to perform with a traveling circus. For 13 long years, the lion had been confined to a cramped cage and denied any semblance of a normal existence.

Within seconds of his release, Will can be seen eagerly running his paws through the soft soil — tragically, a foreign material for a creature who, up until then, had known only cold metal floors.

Will's reaction to the grass that covers his sprawling new home is equally ecstatic. Despite his age, advanced for his species, the lion rolls around like a happy cub discovering life's simple pleasures.

But perhaps the most touching part of Will's transition into his new sanctuary can be seen in this moment of repose, as if most impressed not by the feeling of dirt or grass, but by a newfound sense of peace.

Responses to "Circus Lion Freed From Cage Feels Earth Beneath His Paws For The First Time "

  1. Anonymous says:

    This brought tears to my eyes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    WONDERFUL !!! :) <3

  3. Anonymous says:

    He seemed to be overwhelmed. Panting in cats shows stress. But he soon got over it enough to relax and roll in the grass!��

  4. Kim Wakelin-Brake says:

    I wonder how his health is and at the same time when I saw his paw I knew he was deprived of full development.. I am so glad there were people able to rescue Will and make the rest of his life awesome and free

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