Photo Credit: Flickr: 6935212740
Footage shared this week by Rancho dos Gnomos Santuário in Brazil revealed what was likely to be the greatest moment of lifetime for a lion named Will.
The majestic cat spent 13 years living in a metal cage and had never felt the earth beneath his feet.
He had been forced to perform with a travelling circus his entire life, and was confined to the cramped cage where he could barely move.
In 2005, thanks to the kind hearts of the group that rescues domestic, exotic and wild animals from abusive environments, that all changed.
The video, just released by the ecological sanctuary, captured the amazing moment that the lion touched grass and soil for the very first time.
Within seconds, the beautiful animal that had known only the feel of a cold metal floor on his paws, appears baffled at first, and then, what can only be described as pure joy and amazement at the sensation of feeling the soft earth as he runs his paws through the soil.
He rolls around like a playful cub, discovering a new sense of freedom never enjoyed before.
Will spent the rest of his life at the sanctuary until his death in 2011.
Sanctuary founder Marcos Pompeo told The Dodo that he “loved to lie on the grass and look at the sky,” adding, “He was a very happy lion.”