The Amharic word ANBESSA has strong and powerful meaning for Ethiopians rather than simply representing a Lion. Lion is the creature most symbolically associated with Ethiopia. Predominantly during the period of monarchy, Lion was the icon of imperial grandeur; so as a result, Lion becomes the symbol of bravery and resistance for Ethiopians.
I am very much honored to present these graceful creatures on this particular virtual journey and what makes it more exciting is taking the world to see Ethiopian Lions not from caged zoos but rather from the natural and serene wildlife conservation center that houses wild animals in need, a center which is situated in the fertile and exotic Western part of the country, right from the forested Menagesha town to be specific and only 30 km from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.
In starting with few facts about the center, Ensessakotteh (which means Animal foot print in Amharic), is a wildlife rescue, conservation, and education center established by The Born Free Foundation in collaboration with Ethiopian Wildlife conservation Authority (EWCA).
Born Free Foundation, with one of enlightening mottoes of “Keep Wildlife in the Wild” is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wildlife animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. Born Free Foundation Ethiopia (BFFE) becomes a legal registered non-governmental organization (NGO) in Ethiopia on December 10, 2007.
Since the center is situated on a remarkable natural area which is partially covered in trees with an estimation of 77,489 hectares, it surly provides an opportunity of enhancement and reverence that the animals deserve by allowing them to live in spacious, verdant and ecologist arena.
Unlike the lion zoo in Addis Ababa, Ensessakotteh, aim to provide rehabilitation facilities for wild animals seized from illegal trade, found orphaned or injured and those that cannot be released are provided with care for life at the center.
Even though today’s spot light is up on the Lions, there are other wild animals worth to visit at the center and the remarkable Cheetah is one of it.
Saving the best for last!… Ensessakotteh is not only heaven on earth for the animals but also to visitors of locals or foreigners alike who wants to relish in the fauna and flora of the center.
With no doubt, this is the best place in Ethiopia where a visitor can get up close and personal with the Lions and other wildlife via learning about each animals and their individual story.
The very thing visitors can take with them from this exciting and enlightening experience, of course in addition to beautiful memories, is the valuable lesson of appreciating Lions, wildlife and nature in general and how each of us can contribute in protecting Mother Nature!
Created to be Awesome and Free!