‘Will’ the lion spent 13 years imprisoned in a small cage as part of a travelling circus before being rescued by the Rancho dos Gnomos Santuàrio in Brazil.
A YouTube video shows the lion leaping from the cage and bounding to the ground where he inquisitively starts pawing at the soil, clearly curious as to what is this foreign feeling.
After discovering grass, the lion runs around his enclosure, rolling and exploring before having a much-needed time-out to gather his thoughts.
While the video was filmed in 2006, it was only released last week via the Rancho dos Gnomos Santuàrio YouTube channel.
Sadly Will passed away of old age in 2011, but he enjoyed five years outside a cage, playing on the grass and interacting with other lions.
“He had five years of tranquility before he died. Here he had the opportunity to interact with other lions. He loved to lie in grass and look at the sky,” sanctuary founder Marcos Pompeo told The Dodo.
“He was a very happy lion.”