The bed actually refers to the bed of a pickup truck, but here is the story of moving lions at a wildlife refuge in northern South Africa.
Driving in the back of a pickup through the African bush with two adult lions is not an experience I will easily forget. Actually at the speed that we were going, flying might be a more accurate description. It is an amazing thing being so close to animals that I have only ever dreamed of being near, with no bars between, let alone helping lift them into a truck and assisting with their transport.
After they tranquilized all four of the lions that needed to be moved, it took over 5 people to move each lion with a stretcher. When we finally got into the back and loaded up with the 2 lions (one male and one female) it was a tight fit, and surreal sharing the same space with one of the largest predators in the world.
As we sped down to the new enclosure, the lions started moving their heads and licking whatever was close to them including our hands. All I could think was “I hope this tranquilizer is strong enough!” It is impossible to get any idea of the size and power of these beautiful animals until you can truly be close to them, and at that point they had better be either tame or heavily sedated. The lions in the back with us happened to fall into the latter category… and were by no means friendly, but were still too used to humans to ever be released into the wild.
The lions here at refuge were rescued from facilities that raised animals for canned hunts, an awful practice in which rich idiots pay to shoot a sedated animal that was raised solely to be killed. Fortunately places like this wildlife refuge can rescue animals like these lions and save them from being shot and killed with no chance of survival. It is places like this with dedicated staff who can give animals like these lions the second chance that they deserve.