Having been approached by the relevant Governing Authorities, we have agreed to manage and fund a life-saving Project that will ensure that a number of lions are given a future at a new forever home.
The #Life4Lions Project entails certain Veterinary Procedures (like Vasectomies - Phase 1 and 2), Veterinary care, Micro-Chipping, DNA sampling and recording, Vaccinations and Health Checks, Relocation and Transport of, in total, 21 captive-born, parent-reared lions, to safe, ethical, forever home sanctuaries. One of the family units will remain at the current Nature Reserve after all procedures have been completed. (Update: Phase one has been completed - see video below)
The location of these animals is being withheld upon request of our collaboration partners, EMI (Environmental Management Inspectorate – aka Green Scorpions).
Currently the lions are in a safe, ethical, non-breeding facility, with no human interaction, but their numbers are exceeding the recommended saturation levels as instructed by Nature Conservation. Consequently, we have received instruction from the Authorities to find the excess lions suitable forever homes, rather than risking the lions being euthanized.
Phase one of #Life4Lions was performing Vasectomies on two of the young breeding-age males. This has been completed, and you can watch the video of the procedure below. The vasectomies are being done to ensure that they cannot father any cubs, and protect them from the exploitation by the canned hunting and lion breeding industries. The further phases of #Life4Lions are geared towards ensuring the health of all the lions,(Phase 2 including the Vasectomies of two more lions) transporting them to their new homes, and making sure they have as happy a life as possible in suitable permanent, ethical sanctuaries.
We are currently awaiting further permissions from the Governing Authorities to move on to the next stage. We are spending time and money sourcing ethical homes for the lions, and making sure that they will be cared for properly. Currently, one of the main Reserves that 6 of the lions will be moved to, is in the process of completing their (>5km / 3.2miles) fence repair. Once it has passed formal inspection by Nature Conservation, and complies with WHWF's standards, permits should be issued, and six of the lions will go to their forever home, at a safe, ethical Reserve in a semi-wild environment exceeding 100 Hectares (>250 Acres) .
#Life4Lions What's Next?
Phase 2 involves the building of crates to transport the lions. Six crates are needed, and we are building it ourselves to save money. To purchase one crate is around ZAR12 000, where we can build it to Government specifications for around ZAR4 000 for all six.
We also need to perform the Vasectomies on two more of the Lions pictured below. Kijana (Boy in Swahili) and Lijana (Young in Swahili) need to be sterilized to ensure that they cannot ever be used for breeding.
During Phase 2 of #Life4Lions we are also ensuring that the lions waiting in temporary enclosures to be moved to their forever homes continue to be as comfortable as possible. We do regular site and veterinary checks, and install additional shade-netting, and whatever else is needed. We still need to find other forever homes, so that search is ongoing, with its associated costs.
#Life4Lions How can You Help?
We need funding for the transport crates. Buying them at ZAR12 000 each is not a viable option, as we can build 6 crates at a cost of ZAR 4 000. These crates will render the lons safe and comfortable during transport, often for hundreds of kilometers to their forever homes.
Veterinary Procedures on ToPS species (Threatened or Protected Species) are extremely expensive (in this case Kijana and Lijana), and our travelling costs are substantial, but we are confident that with your help, we can get this done. These lions deserve the very best.
Please #Donate https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/life4lions-phase-2 towards this. This is your chance to help give these lions a good life. Every cent counts!
There are just too many lions in captivity in South Africa, and the devastating reality is that far too many of them will end up being sold to canned hunting facilities, and be disposed of in the lion bone trade.
Lions like Rafiki and Hatari (who have had their vasectomies as per the video below), as well as the two boys Kijana and Lijana, awaiting sterilization and transport to their new home, can never be free: captive born and raised, they have never learnt to hunt, and never will. The best they can have will be a long healthy life in a forever home where they can be appreciated from afar - through the lens of a camera.
You can help Kijana and Lijana by supporting Phase 2 of our very special Lion Project by donating here:
South Africans can use EFT at:
First National Bank / Cheque Account
Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation
Account number - 6251 855 4101
Branch Code - 250-655
As always, we will show you exactly how and where your loving donations are used.