"Imagine our surprise and delight when, years later, the very same lioness, with her new partner, [came into] our care," Heuser said.
As a young cub, Masrya was kept as a pet in Egypt. She was purchased from a street trader, who used her as a tourist photo prop - and in order to make sure she wouldn't hurt anyone while posing for photographs, she was declawed. But as Masrya grew older, bigger and stronger, it was no longer safe to let the young lioness roam freely, according to Spots & Stripes Conservation, which recounts her story on its website.
As a result, Masrya was confined to a small cage, and was kept outside and put on display along a busy street.