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WATCH: 13-year-old lion and her comfy blanket

06 June 2016, 20:30 News24 Correspondent

Harare - She might look fierce, but Zimbabwe lioness Kadiki is a "great" big softie who can't get to sleep without her comfort blanket. Kadiki, who is 13, pulls the blanket over herself to nap when it's cold.

But even when it's hot - which for nine months of the year it is in Zimbabwe - the enormous lioness still wants her blanket. "She will just have it between her paws," says Sarah Carter, the founder of the Twala Animal Sanctuary near Harare, which is where Kadiki lives.

 (Supplied Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary)

Kadiki was taken in by Carter as a 4-month-old cub during Zimbabwe's land reform programme, which began in 2000. Kadiki means small in Shona.

"She had been hand raised by a local farmer after she lost her mother," Carter told News24.

The tender-hearted lioness hasn't always required a blanket for nap-time. In fact, she only started needing one last year after her companion - a rescued male lion - passed away.

Carers aim to take Kadiki's blanket for washing once a week. But Kadiki has very specific requirements for replacements. Said Carter: "It has to be a Candlewick bedspread - nothing else will do!"

With paws like hers though, Kadiki's blankets have a limited lifespan. 

"Each blanket lasts a few months before it's too tattered for her to cover herself anymore," said Carter, who's never seen this kind of behaviour in any of the animals she's cared for before.

"It's very endearing to see this enormous, powerful predator snuggling up every night with her blanky."

- News24


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