It may seem strange to many of you for there to be a Rainbow Residency for this venerable male lion, Marjan, who lived his many years in the Kabul Zoo in Afghanistan. |
In the 1990s a grenade was thrown at Marjan, leaving him blind. And he suffered much during the bombing raids of the U.S. Forces. However, thanks to organizations like the San Diego Zoo and other animal organizations, medicine and money was provided, not only for Marjan, but for the 19 other animals who are still there.
Marjan has become the symbol for us that we, as people, must learn that our actions affect all created beings, not just people, but the animals with whom we share Mother Earth.
One newscaster said as he spoke of the death of Marjan that "if you live in Afghanistan and die of old age, you've done better than most." And Marjan did just that! He went to sleep on the night of January 25, 2002, and quietly crossed Rainbows Bridge and is now with his beloved mate, Quanni. So we say, bless you both, rest easy, you are finally free.
This is from a press release dated January 27, 2002. Marjan the lion is to be buried Monday at the Kabul Zoo, where he suffered the torments of war and won countless hearts worldwide. He was found dead in his cage Saturday morning, a few weeks after his story attracted international attention. With one eye lost to a grenade attack, lame and weakened by war's deprivations, Marjan became a powerful symbol of Afghanistan's sufferings and his dignified bearing seemed to speak of the country's determination to rise above misery and fear. An aid effort led by the World Society for the Protection of Animals raised funds for Marjan and the other animals in the zoo, which fell into dismal neglect during 23 years of war. Despite the WSPA's efforts to improve his diet and ease his life with heat in his cage and a padded sleeping area, Marjan had only a few weeks to enjoy in his sudden reversal of fortune. In his last days, he had to be carried from his sleeping area to a spot where he could lie in the sun. Eventually his kidneys and liver apparently gave out, said the WSPA's John Marsh. Marsh said he found Marjan such an evocative symbol that he wants to see a statue built in his memory.
12/29/07 - And the statue stands at the entrance to the zoo in Kabal....a fitting tribute to a majestic cat. And now he is proudly showing Tatiana from the San Francisco Zoo the wonderful life that is across the Bridge and over the Rainbow. Run free, Marjan and Tatiana, and know that there are people on this earth who revere and love you.
12/30/07 - Another beautiful little girl, Bengal tiger, has joined you and Tatiana at the Bridge. She is only a year old, so we are asking that you help Tatiana with her teaching. Her name is Charu which in Indian (India) means Beautiful. She, too, crossed the Bridge at the hands of cruel people. Watch over her and keep her safe even though you are a lion and she is a tiger....she needs your love. Thank you, Marjan, for being who you are and for showing Tatiana and Charu what true forgiveness is. Please forgive us, beautiful big cats. 12/3/08 - Majestic One, we wish you a Merry Christmas, safe in the arms of God and his angels forever. We will meet you one day, and it will be grand! God keep you safe always and forever. Clare and Martha 1/31/09 - Happy Valentine's Day! You are deep within our hearts forever. Clare & Martha 3/3/09 - You are held in our hearts always. C&M 11/29/09 - The holidays are here again. We know that you are safe with God and the angels. Please watch over us here and help us to mirror your magnificent spirit always. You are cherished forever. Clare & Martha 1/25/10 - We celebrate with you once again your anniversary at Rainbows Bridge. Have a grand time celebrating your life there with all the others who have come to join you. May your majestic spirit be an inspiration to us all until we get to meet you one day. May God and his angels keep you safe, magnificent lion, Marjan! Clare & Martha 3/14/10 - Watch over us, magnificent one. You are a treasure to us all. Clare & Martha 9/16/10 - Please watch over all the precious ones who cross Rainbows Bridge. We will see you one day. You are so handsome and such a perfect lion! Clare & Martha 11/26/10 - We welcome the holidays again this year by sending you our love. May your spirit watch over us all. You are loved, Clare & Martha 12/25/10 - Happy Holidays, magnificent Marjan! We ask that you watch over all the little ones there and please know that we love and honor you. Clare & Martha 1/25/11 - We send you our love on this, another anniversary at Rainbows Bridge. We know there will be a grand banquet just for you, and you are surrounded by all your friends there. We look forward to meeting you one day. We love you, handsome one, to the moon and beyond! Clare and Martha 1/29/11 - Magnificent Marjan, you are our special BIG Valentine! We love you. Rest easy in God's Kingdom. Clare and Martha 2/25/11 - You are so handsome and always watching over the little ones. Please keep us under your watchcare also and know that we love you, Magnificent Marjan! Clare and Martha 3/18/11 - Happy Spring, handsome Marjan! You are a treasure beyond measure and loved always. Clare and Martha 4/25/11 - You are loved and cherished always. Clare and Martha 5/29/11 - It is Memorial Day here, and we remember you with love and honor and respect. Our Majestic One, you are truly cherished. Clare and Martha 6/17/11 - Majestic Lion, Marjan, snooze in the warmth of God's love and the sunshine that is always with you. You are loved! Clare and Martha 9/15/11 - A number of big cats have joined you at the Bridge, and we ask that you watch over them and over the little kitties there with you. God bless you with peace. We love you. Clare and Martha 10/21/11 - Great One, we know that you and Tatiana met the Ohio Majestic Ones at the Bridge when they crossed over. We asked that you help them with the healing that comes from being in that beautiful place. Cover them over with your love and let them know that they are loved and cherished on this earth by so many. God bless you all with His peace. We love you. Clare and Martha 11/25/11 - The Holidays are here, and we know that you are supporting the Ohio Majestic Ones along with Tatiana as you prepare for the feast that is so grand. Thank you for being there for them, and know that we love you all. Clare and Martha 1/25/12 - It doesn't seem possible that you have been at the Bridge for ten years, Magnificent One! We know that you watch closely over the precious little ones who come to join you. Please be their big Guardian Angel until their loved ones come to be with them. We look forward to meeting you one day, Majestic Marjan! Clare and Martha 3/20/12 - We know that Spring is positively beautiful there. Handsome Marjan, watch over all of us still here and watch over those who come to join you at the Bridge. We will see you one day. You are loved and cherished. Clare and Martha 5/28/12 - When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. You are treasured beyond measure and remembered with love on Memorial Day and always, Majestic Marjan. Clare and Martha 9/16/12 - Autumn is almost upon us, and we think of you there in that beautiful place. Know that you are still remembered with love and in our hearts always. Clare and Martha 12/3/12 - Marjan, you are so glorious. As you celebrate the Holidays there with the Ohio Majestic Ones and Tatiana and so many others, great and small, know that you are all thought of with love and admiration. You are in our hearts always. Clare and Martha 1/25/13 - Marjan, Majestic Lion, you have been at the Bridge for 11 years now with your beloved mate, Quanni. We know that there is a banquet being prepared for tonight that befits your majesty. All will be there...great and small...to celebrate the anniversary of one of the most precious lions ever. Know that we will be thinking of you all day today and knowing that God's light of love is ever present there. You are always in our hearts. Clare and Martha 3/31/13 - Happy Spring, Great One. You are remembered with sweet thoughts always. You are forever in our hearts. One day we'll meet and get a big lion hug from you. God bless you and Quanni until then and forever and always. You are treasured. Clare and Martha 12/3/13 - As you celebrate the Holiday Season there, just know that you are remembered here by us who know how truly magnificent you are. Blessings and know that you are cherished. Clare and Martha 1/25/14 - Marjan, Handsome Lion, you're celebrating your 12th year at the Bridge, and we know that the banquet will be splendid as they always are. Our 3 kitties, BG, Katy and Tashi, will be there, along with all the others, great and small, those who have been at the Bridge for a long time and those who are just new to that beautiful place. We know Quanni is with you always, and please remember that you are in our hearts and we celebrate with you. May God's light and the presence of St. Francis shelter you forever. You are cherished. Clare and Martha 12/25/14 - It's the Holiday Season once again, and we want you to know that you are remembered and loved here by those of us who realize your magnificence. You are truly cherished. Clare and Martha 1/25/15 - Majestic One, this is your 13th year at the Bridge. It doesn't seem possible that you have been there that long, along with Quanni and so many others. Enjoy the banquet and know that you are treasured here, and we'll get to meet you one day. God's love surrounds you and St. Francis watches over you. You are truly cherished. Clare and Martha 12/2/15 - At this Holiday Season, please remember that you are loved and cherished by so many here. We love you, Clare & Martha 1/25/16 - Handsome, majestic King of the Beasts, this is your 14th year at the Bridge. You are with Quanni and many others, great and small. You are truly treasured by us mere mortals who will meet you one day in God's time. God's Love and Light surround you, and St. Francis and your guardian angel watch over you. You are loved by one and all there and by all who know about you here. Clare and Martha