Saving animals is every veterinarian’s job, but at only 26 years old, Chloe Breakwell was also the witness of a beautiful love story. She spent her life saving animals, and when she got in the middle of the desert, she was fully rewarded. Simba and Bella are her favorite patients and the perfect couple.
Chloe wanted to share the amazing story of Simba and Bella and show people that a heartbreaking story can turn into a fairytale with a happy ending. These lions only needed a little help…
Let’s meet Simba and Bella!
20. A Tough Life
None of these two lions started well in life. They were both owned by circuses, never running in the open or finding a pride of their own. Simba was born in a French zoo in 2005 and Bella came from a Romanian zoo.
19. Helping Wildlife
Breakwell went to a vet school in Melbourne, Australia, and then her life consisted in saving wild animals all around the world, but her heart belonged to African lands. She volunteered to go and work with wildlife in Africa…
18. Getting to Know the Animals
She explains that whenever they treated injured or ill animals, they’d get attached to them. That’s how she bonded with Simba: ‘I met Simba when I was working with the veterinary team at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi.’ They told her his heartbreaking story.
17. How Simba Got in Malawi
‘I instantly fell in love with him, and even more so after I heard about his history of how he came to live there,’ said the veterinarian. You won’t believe how Simba arrived at the center!
16. Living in a Cage
In 2005, Simba was born in a French Zoo. He was then taken in by an animal trainer that kept him locked inside a trailer. Simba could only exercise and get some fresh air when the cage had to be cleaned…
15. Traveling to Belgium
In 2012, he went to live at Belgium’s Natuurhulpcentrum (Wildlife Rescue Centre), after the Born Free Foundation saved him. The ultimate goal was to send Simba to his forever home, somewhere in Africa. And 2 years later…
14. Two Years Later…
Then, in 2014, Simba finally arrived at Lilongwe Wildlife Trust in Africa. He met Chloe Breakwell when she treated him from a condition he has developed over his time as a circus animal. He needed pain meds!
13. An Old Feline
‘He is an older lion and has the signs of a difficult past, but loves nothing more than roaming around finding the sunniest spots to lie in,’ said Breakwell. She knows he is a unique animal, saying these heartwarming words…
12. A Special Lion
Breakwell said that Simba’s ‘gentle nature, combined with his very impressive presence and heart-wrenching past make him truly unique and special.’ But Simba hasn’t just won the doctor’s heart!
11. Bella, the Rescued Lioness
At the sanctuary, Simba fell deeply in love with a lioness that was living there since 2009. She is Bella, saved from a Romanian zoo, where she never saw any other lion for years. She was in a terrible condition!
10. Lilongwe Wildlife Trust
The sanctuary has an Instagram account and other social media pages. In one of Bella’s photos, they explain her background story: ‘She had been kept in appalling conditions which affected her health’…
9. She is a Beauty
The zoo was shut down, but one eye had to be removed due to glaucoma. ‘As you can see, Bella is doing well in her specially built enclosure at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, and is living a life unlike anything she had experienced before,’ wrote the post.
8. Two Broken Hearts
Coming from harsh conditions, Simba and Bella finally found a perfect home. They immediately bonded once they met. ‘He is almost always found side-by-side with Bella. They are the only two in their bush enclosure and will live out their days together,’ said Breakwell. And that’s not all!
7. He is Very Protective
If volunteers get too close to Bella, Simba will charge the fences to show them he’s in charge and Bella is his lover. However, Breakwell knows that Bella is the one who’s actually in charge. This is what she said…
6. A Big Softie
‘Simba is gentle and really just a big softie. He is a proud and regal lion, but is always kept in his place by Bella! She is definitely in charge,’ said the vet. Everyone at the Lilongwe loves their pair of lions.
5. Living a Great Life
Now Simba and Bella live in their own enclosure. Knowing that these lions have a chance of living free in their homeland, ‘brings me so much happiness and heightens my faith in people,’ said Breakwell.
4. A Dream Job
This woman has a dream job, and she doesn’t just hang out with big cats. She works with great colleagues and they save other animals in need. Challenges appear daily, and she has treated many victims that fell prey to poaching and wildlife trade…
3. Tender Moments
Her stories and photos of baby animals and injured or sick newborn animals that finally get to join their families are the best. She feels fully rewarded seeing that they get their happy endings after all!
2. A Happy Story
‘It can be very emotionally challenging to constantly work with so many cases of animal abuse, so a happy story like Simba’s is really uplifting and refreshing,’ said Breakwell. And it wouldn’t have been possible without all the people that helped to save them.
1. The Awesome ‘Jungle_doctor’
‘I am loving every minute of it and feel very lucky to be in a profession as diverse and opportunity-filled as mine,’ concluded our heroic veterinarian, Chloe Breakwell. If you want to see more of her adventures, check out her Instagram account – jungle_doctor.