A local man's being praised for his key role in saving three sister lions and a male cub from dire circumstances in Ukraine and rehoming them at a sanctuary in Port Elizabeth.
Luca, Charlie, Kai and Nathan were rescued from a hotel close to Kiev by the Lawrence Anthony World Organisation's Lionel de Lange.
Speaking to Pippa Hudson, Lange, who lives in Ukraine, says he initially received a call in 2017 about three bears that were living in bad condition.
On arrival, he found not only the bears but also the four lion cubs, caged and clearly in distress.
Amid rescuing the bears, I saw the need to rescue the lions as well.— Lionel de Lange, Director - Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization
The removal of the lions took us 10 months and that was a nightmare. We struggled to get finances as I run a small organisation. We then negotiated with the Turkish Cargo and the agents that were doing the exporting documentation and we reached an agreement.— Lionel de Lange, Director - Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization
These days the four cubs have literally found sanctuary at the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve in Port Elizabeth.
Kragga Kamma did an amazing job and built a 1.4 hectare enclosure for them and they were released into that and it was amazing to see them take their first steps on African soil.— Lionel de Lange, Director - Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization
Click below to listen to the full interview: