Special transport of lions Vasylyna and Nikola to South Africa

GeneralApr - 26, 2024
Lions Vasylyna and Nikola embarked on a significant journey on 25 April, boarding on a Martinair Cargo 747 freighter aircraft headed for South Africa. This remarkable flight marks a new chapter in the lives of these majestic creatures, who are now en route from FELIDA, the specialised sanctuary for big cats run by animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS in Friesland, the Netherlands, to LIONSROCK, an expansive 1250-hectare sanctuary managed by the same organisation in South Africa.

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is proud to play a significant role in this journey, leveraging its extensive experience in transporting wild animals. The airline boasts a dedicated animal hotel at its KLM Cargo facilities at Schiphol and expert staff members who diligently oversee the welfare of animals throughout the trip.

Vasylyna and Nikola share remarkably similar backgrounds. Lioness Vasylyna arrived at the big cat sanctuary on 7 June. Originally kept as a pet in Ukraine, she managed to escape and wandered through the war-affected streets of a village near Kharkiv before being captured and taken to a temporary wildlife shelter in Ukraine. Due to the wartime situation and lack of adequate care and space, she was swiftly relocated to the Netherlands.

Nikola´s journey to the specialised sanctuary of FOUR PAWS began after being rescued from illegal private possession in Montenegro. In February 2022, he was found and confiscated by local authorities. After ten days of roaming the streets near Budva on the Adriatic coast, exhausted and malnourished, he was brought to the safe haven of FELIDA.

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