Sylvester the Lion's public plea

2016-03-30 12:16 - Anje Rautenbach
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SANParks is searching for Sylvester the lion, after it escaped from the Karoo National Park for a second time over the long weekend. If this rebel big cat could speak here's what Anje Rautenbach thinks it would say... See the latest update here - Sylvester: Search continues as Karoo lion's plea goes global

Good day brothers, sisters, South Africans and fellow creatures. Sawubona, goeie dag and molweni.

It’s with great honour and roar that I stand in front of you to share my story.

The media has put me in the spotlight last year as Sylvester the Lion. Today I’m proud to be known as a fugitive on the run, a two-time fence-crawling champion and a sheep eater. I must admit, I’m slightly alarmed that my penchant for wanderlust has been met with death threats. But what can I say, I’m a rebel big cat, wild at heart. 

It is quite understandable that the public fears my decision to go on another sabbatical but I stand in front of you today brothers, sisters, South Africans and fellow creatures.  I stand in front of you today to assure you that my decision to cross over to the other side was a rational choice backed by intellectual and logical behaviour.

You see, brothers, sisters, South Africans and fellow creatures… life has never been the same again since that sweet escape from Karoo National Park in 2015. Every now and then I catch myself daydreaming about my escapades, my first holiday and my best friend, Bob the sheep. 

Unfortunately Bob is not with us anymore, he got into a little accident. 

Moment of silence for Bob. And his family. All 26 of them. They were quite sweet. 

After my 2015 escape I returned to Karoo National Park with a rejuvenated mind. The road was therapeutic; the journey was home. Every step I took was an adventure. I met new faces and found new heights. I was on a voyage of discovery; I stumbled upon new landscapes and explored different cuisines. 

They say that “we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”.

They say that “adventure is worthwhile”.

They say that you should, “once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before”.

And I say yes!

I, Sylvester the lion, stand in front of you today brothers, sisters, South Africans and fellow creatures and

I say yes!

I say yes to adventure. I say yes to catching the trade winds in my sails. I say yes to explore, to dream and to discover!

Life is too short to stay in one place. 

I want to thank my brothers and sisters for putting up with me after my return last year. I know I talked a lot. Thank you for listening to my travel tales and thank you for looking at all the photo albums. It is with great sadness that I leave you behind, but I hope I'll be back soon.  I love all of you (#SoBlessed).

And finally, dear South Africans, won’t you reconsider the euthanasia fate that chokes me up at the mere mention of it. Sure, you see me as a bad kitty, but you must admit it makes my journey all the more interesting to follow on social media. 

My friend, graphic giraffe, is currently helping me out to start a petition. Please remember that I didn’t escape because I was unhappy, I merely made an exit to get out of my comfort zone. I still shudder when I think about the spectacle that ensued after the death of my cousin Cecil (#JustSaying). 

To my fellow creatures, I just want to kindly warn you that we might meet each other along the journey. I apologise in advance for any harsh words or animal instinct I might act on. It’s not you, it’s me (#ImSorry). 

I thank you ladies and gentleman. 

With a spring in my step, Bob’s family in my tummy and a roar in my throat, I thank you.


Anje Rautenbach is the writer behind the blog Going Somewhere Slowly, find her Facebook,Twitter  or on Instagram!

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