skip to Main Content
Lions And Other Animal Ambassadors Calling

Lions and Other Animal Ambassadors Calling

Many years ago, I answered a call from the Zoo Animals. They asked me to gather the people and bring them, so that we could work together in ceremony to restore connections between people and All Our Relations. One of those events is called Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors, an in-person or virtual four-month event that starts in December and ends in March.

During those four months, we meet in person and virtually with the Animal Ambassadors at four different Seattle-area zoos: Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Northwest Trek, Cougar Mountain Zoo, and Woodland Park Zoo.

It is not always an easy mission. Prior to a pivotal moment with lioness Adia, I had been feeling discouraged, wondering if I should stop trying to find ways to persuade people to meet in ceremony with the ZAA to co-create shift. Maybe I was just not convincing enough. Maybe I had been imagining the messages from the animals. A LOT of self-doubts.

On a visit to Woodland Park Zoo in 2018, lioness Adia confronted me. Remarkably, she had never addressed a word to me in prior years, but when I rounded the bend to where she and lion Xerxes lived she was waiting for me. She looked me directly in the eyes, and very forcefully said, “Don’t stop.” I tearfully assured her that I would not. Even if it was just me I would continue to bring ceremony to the Zoo Animal Ambassadors. Sadly, it was the last time I saw Adia; she passed away during a medical procedure several weeks later.

Due to COVID, there was a break in our visits. When we were able to return, I wondered how we would be received after our absence. I worried needlessly. All of the animals happily added their prayers in ceremony, despite the incredible numbers of other folks there for Pumpkin Bash weekend.

That day, Adia’s words were front and center in my mind as we neared the lion enclosure. And what unfolded was a powerful and perfect illustration of why I bring people to the zoo.

The viewing area was packed with overexcited children at the glass and parents behind them. One of the lionesses rushed forward. Rearing up, she pounded on the glass with her paws, causing the children to shriek louder. When she dropped to her feet, some of the children started banging and trying in other ways to tease her into doing it again. The parents did nothing. I sharply told the children to stop, but went unheard in the chaos. I think the last straw for the lioness was the child with furry ears (see video Lioness Ilanga schools children).

I felt red hot anger rise, for one scary moment I thought I was going to be appearing on the evening news as the crazy old lady who hit children with her cane (please, allow me to assure you that is not who I usually am).

Feeling frustrated, the lioness retreated to the back of the grassy area.

Along with my anger came a wave of despair and helplessness at not being able to protect the lioness from the people. I felt powerless to affect the perceptions and behavior of the children and the parents—they did not able to perceive the lioness as a sentient being and an individual worthy of respect.

I knew that my over-the-top emotions needed to be cleared in order to continue to hold space for ceremony, so I moved to the other side of the window and began the process that I teach my students.

I was in mid-clearing when the lioness turned back. Not only did she turn back, she was headed straight for me. There I was, completely open energetically due to the work I was doing. And she saw me—saw deep into me. Saw all of who I am to the core. Saw the tears streaming down my face and into my mask—tears of frustration and anger and sadness over not being able to help the ZAA rebuild the bridge with the People. And the lioness stood still, looking directly into my eyes and into me. And she held my gaze for a long time, something that cats don’t ordinarily do since it can be considered as an aggressive action. We saw each other, and I felt a resonance with her. I eye-blinked at her to be sure that she knew that I meant no disrespect, and she eye-blinked back. I felt something very important had happened, but it was going to take a while for my emotions and energy to settle to sort it out.

At the end of the day, I felt called to return to the lions. Technically, the zoo was already closed. Almost no one was there when we arrived. The two lionesses were lounging in a different area. One of them rose to her feet and began walking directly toward me. They look very much alike, but I felt it was the same one.

She diverted her attention to the children, and because I had done my clearing work earlier I was able to see something I had missed. The lioness first attempted to connect with the children by slow eye-blinking at them. Because the children did not understand her communication they responded by getting shrill and excited. The lioness repeated her charge and glass-pawing. She was also saying that this was her territory, and they needed to be respectful. This time around, I felt her frustration that they were not listening to her. I had been so emotional earlier that I had missed that, too. (Note: this is why I preach to all my students about the importance of being grounded, balanced, and centered and getting your own baggage out of the way, lol, you can listen much better that way.)

As I watched, one child was directed by her parents to stand with her back to the lioness so that a photo could be taken (an act of disrespect, and a prey action). Because I had done my clearing work earlier, I felt sad for the child who let her parents know that she felt uncomfortable by saying, “I don’t want to be eaten.” Children are more aware and open to guidance in their interactions with animals, but the parents were clueless. That guidance had been lost for many generations as we became more “civilized” and less aware of the natural world and our relationships to All Our Relations.

Everyone left, but Stacey and I.

I made sure to eye-blink and asked Lioness if I might sit by her. She said yes.

I sat on the ground, literally at her feet, and simply offered companionship. I did not want to paparazzi her, so I asked if I might take one last video. She agreed. She had been looking off into the distance. Turning her head to me, she looked directly into the lens and deliberately eye-blinked (see End of day visit with Lioness Ilanga). At that moment, although we are packaged in different bodies, I knew that we had a common mission. Lioness Adia had charged me with bringing the people, and lioness Ilanga had made it clear that she was up for continuing the work. Together we can rebuild what has been lost.

The Zoo Animal Ambassadors and I hope that you will join us in this sacred mission. You don’t have to be local to participate—Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors is available worldwide.

Class starts December 4, click here to learn more and register.


Want to learn how to: connect more deeply with animals, restore balance to your life, increase intuitive skills, and help heal the Earth? Take a look at my live Reiki and shamanic virtual classes, available worldwide.


You are welcome to share this article with others by email, on your blog or to your mailing list so long as you leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. All links must remain in the article. And, you must include the copyright notice and the bio.

©2023 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved.

Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Rose–what a powerful, inspirational story here. I always have rage at the People, and little hope for humankind at this stage in the simulation. your faith and perseverance and connection to all our Relations gives me a bit of respite from the trauma of this world. may you continue this incredible work in good health, we need each other!

    1. Thank you for your kind words of support. As I recall, you took Bones, Stones, Feathers and Fur class. Remember that your allies can help you release the anger which are weeds in our inner gardens per Windwalker. It is how I keep persevering, and doing personal clearing work helps create the kind of change All Our Relations wish to achieve (-: Together we are strong (-:

Leave a Reply

Back To Top