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Rescued Circus Lions Arrive in South Africa

Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 04 March 2019 – Four lions rescued from a Ukraine circus have been released into their new home at the Kragga Kamma Game Park after being airlifted by Turkish Cargo.

Rescued lioness at Kragga Kamma Game Park in Port Elizabeth

National flag carrier Turkish Airlines’ cargo company, Turkish Cargo, embarked on the rescue mission for the three sister lions named Luca, Charlie and Kai and a male cub named Nathan. Turkish Cargo delivered the lions to their natural habitat in South Africa by transporting them on a flight from Ukraine to Johannesburg with a stopover in Istanbul.

The Lions were saved by Lionel de Lange, Director of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization in Ukraine.

“I knew that I couldn’t leave these lions behind. They were living in 35 square metres of concrete and steel. Their cage was welded shut so you couldn’t open or close or get in to clean them. So they were living in their own faeces and urine and leftover food and bones,” said de Lange.

During their journey, Luca, Charlie, Kai and Nathan were accompanied by Lionel, special veterinarians and Turkish Cargo personnel certified in transporting live animals.

After a marathon flight of almost 9,000 kilometres (5,592 miles), the lions were set free in the Kragga Kamma Game Park in Port Elizabeth. The Lions’ new home is a natural habitat offering 14,000 square meters (nearly 150,700 square feet) of green coastal forest and meadows.

Commenting on the rescue mission, Turkish Aırlines Senior Vice President of Media Relations Yahya Üstün added, “We transported four lions rescued from a 35-square-meter room in Ukraine to their natural habitat in South Africa. Now it is their turn to enjoy and discover freedom. We will continue to be a protector of nature with the special operations of our Turkish Cargo brand.”

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