Qatar Cargo returns captive lions to South Africa
Three lions, one lioness and three cubs were brought to nature reserves in South Africa after three-day trip from Kiev to Doha and Johannesburg.
May 6, 2021
By PLA Editor
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Qatar Airways Cargo kept its promise to fly wildlife for free, and this time it worked with Warriors of Wildlife (WOW) to bring home lions to South Africa as part of its “rewild the planet” initiative.
On 29 April, the three lions, one lioness and three cubs transported by Qatar set foot on grass for the first time at the Kouga and Swinburne nature reserves in South Africa after a three-day trip from Kiev to Doha and Johannesburg—all in good health.
The airline said transporting wild animals requires close cooperation between the specific services involved within the airline and WoW’s staff. The NGO staff looked after the animals’ well-being during the entire journey, whilst handlers from the Qatar Airways Cargo’s Live Animals facility were present at every stage.
The rescued lions have lived in captivity for years and will never be able to adapt in the wild, WOW noted. They will spend the next few months in a protected area and simply learn to explore nature. They will then be transferred to a much larger nature reserve where they will be protected and taken care of for the remainder of their lives.
The Dubai-based carrier said it took six months involving no less than a dozen departments and over 50 employees to ensure a successful operation. It plans to continue this programme to ease the transport and logistics costs for nonprofits like WOW.