4 rescued lions start a new life in South Africa. Picture: Pexels.

Four circus lions from Ukraine were rescued and transported to a game reserve in South Africa.

In a statement by Turkish Airlines’ cargo company, Turkish Cargo, the rescue mission helped save three sister lions named Luca, Charlie and Kai and a male cub named Nathan.

The four flew a 9000-kilometre flight  from Ukraine with a stopover at Istanbul to Johannesburg- eventually being set free at Kragga Kamma Game Park in Port Elizabeth

Lionel de Lange, the Director of the Lawrence Anthony World Organization in Ukraine, said the lions' new home is free from poachers.

“We rescue wild, abused animals. So, we take them out of the circus, private zoos and private homes and relocate them to better facilities in Ukraine. With the support of Turkish Cargo, we were able to take the Lions to South Africa.  The lions will not have to worry about hunters or poachers any more,” he said.

The lions were living in a cage that was around 35 square metres before their rescue. The cage was not cleaned, which was a major health hazard for them

Turkish Aırlines Senior Vice President of Media Relations Yahya Üstün said it was the lion’s turn to enjoy and discover freedom.