"Everyone thinks South Africa is wild," she said. "No, it's buildings. You cannot find them [cubs] on the street."
Lamontagne knew something was up, but the more questions she asked, the more defensive her employers became. "At one point I was asking so many questions they told me to shut up," she recalled.
What the sanctuary did tell her is that the baby lions were being raised to be sent to a zoo in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"I freaked out because, for me, volunteering for animals is not [about] bringing them to zoos, because I do not like zoos," she said. "Animals should be in the wild space ... I was kind of sad that they were going to end up in zoos, and everyone was going to bang on their plastic walls."
But she had already fallen in love, and so decided the best course of action was to be there for the cubs while she could. "I shut off my mind and said, I'm just going to give them the best care," she explained.
When her time was up, Lamontagne returned home, though she couldn't get the little lions out of her mind - in particular the smallest, whom she named Serabie and formed a special bond with.