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Into the Pride Season Finale

Have you ever had a chance to check out “Into the Pride”? I just caught it for the first time last week and already, it’s the season finale. Sad face here! I’m not one for Animal Planet shows– it’s nothing personal, Animal Planet, but animals and I just aren’t BFFs.

But Dave Salmoni’s six-month stay with a rogue pride of lions definitely interested me and caught my eye. Sadly, it’s coming to a close, wrapping up with tonight’s episode titled “Homeward Bound.” If you’ve caught the early episodes, you’ve seen both his frustrations and victories in getting these big cats to accept a little human kindness without putting it on the menu! Did you have a favorite lion? Those cuddly cubs! Rough and Tumble, and Peaches, Precious and Petal. The big girls Winnie and Yoda and Fitty. And of course the leading males, Brutus and Otis.

One fun image was seeing the cubs taking Dave’s sweatshirt and dragging it to become their own personal property, a soft cushion or toy to shred. Isn’t that just like when your dog claims a favorite sweater for his bed? And the Mole knows that Heather, a New Jersey cat, loves denim so much, she purrs at the touch of clean jeans.

Dave’s given the lions a new view of life, as they’ve gotten used to seeing him 24/7. They’ve learned he’s not such a bad guy to have around, as Dave told us during his interview. Even Cleo, who’s wary of everyone, has calmed down some. Okay, they won’t be tossing a goodbye party for him–lions are so not into gooey cakes from the cafeteria and funny cards with Smurfs on the front–but you’ll want to see the bittersweet final chapter in this African adventure. Dave’s departing from a pride so different than the one that did NOT welcome him all those months ago, and it’s a joy to witness those remarkable changes.

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