Lions rescued from Romania released into Lion's Rock

Posted on 14 June 2013

Lion’s Rock Big Cat Sanctuary welcomed four lions and two tigers to its premises yesterday. International animal welfare charity Four Paws rescued the felines from Onesti Zoo in Bacau Country, Romania, before moving them to Lion’s Rock, Free State.

Southern African Tourism Update reports that Four Paws rescued the animals after a request from the Onesti city hall to remove the animals from the city’s zoo that didn’t have the authority to keep the animals.  According to a statement released by Four Paws, the six animals lived all their lives in unfavourable conditions at the zoo.“The animals have lived their whole life on cement floors, in extremely small enclosures and in inappropriate conditions,” said a statement from the animal welfare charity.

A Four Paws team including two vets, took on the task of tranquilising, loading the animals in special crates and transferring them to South Africa.

 Video by the guardian.

After their release into Lion’s Rock, the six felines which had been caged all their lives,  experienced sunlight and grass for the first time in their lives. Four Paws says the animals will be kept in enclosures of minimum 1 hectares ? 150 times bigger than their previous enclosures.

Since officially opening in 2007, the Four Paws-owned Lion’s Rock Big Cat Sanctuary has housed 90 lions and tigers, mostly from Europe,  including 32 lions and one tiger from Romania. The total number of big cats in the care of Four Paws in South Africa has now risen to 83 lions and six tigers.

Main image by David Youldon ,

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