In 2016, four lion cubs at South Africa’s Sabi Sands, a private game reserve bordering Kruger National Park, mysteriously fell ill. The cubs became sluggish, experts say, withering away into weak, depressed husks. Slowly, they lost the ability to move their back legs and had to drag themselves on their front limbs in order to get around.
The disability quickly morphed into a full-on paralysis of the hind quarters, pinning the young cubs to the ground and making it impossible for them to move.
Two of the lion cubs the vets looked at died, and two did not. It was later revealed that two grown lionesses showed similarly lethargic symptoms around the same time, and it’s possible other lions in the area also appeared sick.