Meet the Team

A strong team looks after the welfare of our big cats and our guests.

Hildegard Pirker

Site Manager & Head of Animal Welfare Department

“Every day brings new opportunities to be caring, compassionate and kind”

Animal Guardian since 2007


Along with her team, Hildegard is responsible for the overall operations of LIONSROCK surrounding the care of around 100 rescued big cats – a job that calls for focus and dedication. 


She arrived with the first group of rescued lions from Austria in 2007 after the first newly built enclosures were ready to welcome them in their new forever home.


Her heart firmly rooted in animal welfare, she has since contributed to the development of LIONSROCK to what it is today, from defining animal husbandry standards, the training of the animal care taker team, expansion of the animal facilities to the development of guest activities and creating the volunteer program.

Kelly Lambe

Chief Animal Caretaker

“Animals can teach us so much, if we just stop and listen”

Animal Guardian since: 2020 

As chief animal caretaker, I work with the animal caretaker team to ensure the daily needs of all our animals are met, including feeding, cleaning, medications, enrichment, training & observations. Together we look after over 100 rescued big cats so our days are always busy and every day brings something new. 

Favourite animals: As long as you don’t tell the others then I might have to say Bakari, our leopard, as he is a magnificent animal and very playful, I love to watch him engaging with his enrichment & snoozing in the sunshine.

Christine Steyrer

Veterinarian / Animal Welfare Department

I am here to hopefully make an improvement for these big cats, to contribute to their wellbeing and quality of life.

Animal Guardian since 2020 

My work includes but is not limited to monitoring and treating our animals, as well as preventative care so our animals stay as healthy as possible given their circumstances and backgrounds. So some days would start with a vaccination and end with me inspecting feces as an example. 

Favorite animals: Every single one, so about 100 names plus dogs and horses

Johannes Molefe 

Animal care taker 

Animal Guardian since May 2010 

Johannes has grown over the past ten years from a general worker to leading our animal care taker team. 

When he moved to the animal welfare department and began his training as a care taker, Johannes found his passion. His love for the animals together with hard work and dedication made him an outstanding care taker and when the number of rescued big cats grew it was his turn to train others and to become the supervisor of the care taker team. 

Johannes has a calm and positive personality which is appreciated by his team and makes it easy for him to earn the trust of our big cats.