Sandile, a male lion, is released at Lions Rock Big Cat Sanctuary in Bethlehem as one of 10 lions rescued from inappropriate conditions by Four Paws outside Johannesburg.
- Lions Rock Big Cat Sanctuary in the Free State is the new home of 10 lions that were rescued from a hatchery in Gauteng.
- The ten lions, part of the 15 that were rescued, were transported on Thursday.
- The other five were sent to another facility.
Lions who were rescued from a breeding facility in Gauteng have found a new home at the Lions Rock big cat sanctuary in the eastern Free State.
The big cats, called Golden Pride, are part of 15 lions that were rescued from the farm. They were released Thursday morning.
The three males are Kali, Rudo, and Sandile, and the seven females are Kimi, Dandi, Sarafina, Sihle, Zuri, Zendaya, and Khaya.
The remaining five have been sent to another facility.
Fiona Miles, director of the sanctuary’s parent company, Four Paws, said the lionesses received contraceptive implants. The facility will not breed or trade cats for profit.
These cases show how difficult it is to monitor compliance in the captive lion breeding industry and how urgent it is to end breeding facilities like these. It is commendable that South Africa has taken the first steps to commit to phasing out the captive lion breeding industry as we know it. It is our hope that establishing the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment’s Lion Task Force will be the next step in creating a concrete process to end captive breeding of lions.
Miles said the animals would have been euthanized if authorities had been unable to find homes for them.
She said that the hatchery was not closed due to other attractions, but that she would lose her permit to keep lions.
“By relocating the Golden Pride, we are one step closer to #BreakTheViciousCycle of big cat exploitation. Our recent public opinion poll shows that 81% of respondents would rather see big cats in the wild than in captivity and believe these animals should not be traded for profit or bred for commercial purposes,” added Miles.
Editor’s Note: In an earlier version of this article, we erroneously wrote that Lions Rock Big Cat Sanctuary is located in the Eastern Cape. In fact, it is in the eastern Free State. We apologize for the mistake. It has been rectified.