Cape Town - International animal welfare organisation Four Paws has welcomed two young lions - Micca and Juba - to their Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary in Bethlehem in the Free State after they were left destitute when a veld fire swept through their previous enclosure on a private farm in the Free State.
"The lions, born at a breeding farm, can now live a species-appropriate life at a true sanctuary. The animals were purchased from a local breeding farm to act as security on their new owner’s property," Four Paws country director for South Africa Fiona Miles said on Sunday.
“Lions do not belong in private captivity and are certainly not meant to act as security guards. We hope to give these beautiful animals a new lifelong home here at Lionsrock - safe from private keeping, breeding, and the canned hunting industry,” she said.
Four Paws was told the land where the owner kept the lions had been sold, and this placed the owner in a difficult position - find a safe haven for the animals or send them back to the breeding farm they came from where they would face an uncertain future.
While looking for a suitable solution for the lions, tragedy struck when a big veld fire started on the farm and burned down everything in the lion enclosure. The lions, though scorched, had no other serious injuries.
"The lion and lioness were sterilised a few weeks ago. Their new home, Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary, will provide a lifelong home to Micca and Juba with living conditions appropriate for their species," Miles said.
African News Agency/ANA