lions ukraine 2

Photo: Martin Bester / Facebook

Watch: Five lions escape death in Ukraine, enjoy first day back in SA

Here’s your daily dose of feel-good news. These lions were facing a cruel end to their lives, before a campaign to rescue them from Ukraine was launched.

lions ukraine 2

Photo: Martin Bester / Facebook

Welcome home, guys! Five cubs have safely returned back to South Africa, after they were controversially shipped to the Ukraine. The animals from Mzansi were facing certain death in the European country, but a committed rescue effort has got the young lions home for Christmas.

The campaign has been lead by Lionel de Lange, a homegrown animal rights activist. He secured the ownership of the cubs earlier this year, then made arrangements in South Africa for a “forever home” to host the five lions at a wildlife sanctuary in the North West.

Five lions return home from Ukraine

He has all CITES documents, import and export permit weres sorted, there is a vet at the facility to assess the lions, and a flight for the cubs in the cargo hold of a commercial plane to Johannesburg, which departed from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on 10 December, was arranged. This flight, however, came at a cost of R126 000.

The good folks of Jacaranda FM, the Good Morning Angels Programme and Mazda have helped to raise the money for the six-figure sum. Following their long-haul flight on Tuesday, they’ve been caged-up and held at a secure location. On Thursday, they were finally set free. And they were bloody loving it!

Watch the lion cubs return to South Africa here

NSPCA liberate tigers in North West

This comes on the same day that The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) laid criminal charges against a well-known game farm facility on the outskirts of Klerksdorp, also in North West. The Hawks have taken over the investigation, as this has become a high priority case.

Tigers on the property appeared to be suffering from heat exhaustion and were living in dirty and unhygienic conditions – it was evident that their enclosures had not been cleaned in some time. Other issues found included tigers being confined with unpotable drinking water, inadequate shelter, and a lack of bathing facilities.

Although this particular story is a sad one, we can take comfort in the knowledge that the animals have been liberated and after a quick check-up, they will be freed into the wild where they belong.