Ukrainian Lions Return to Africa
Five lions, who grew up in Ukraine, were taken to a nature reserve in South Africa. Four females and one male grew up in a zoo in Berdiansk. Documents to transfer them to their natural habitat took six months to prepare
The four female lions and one male are showing signs of stress. They have no idea they are coming home – to a South African reserve. All of them are one and a half years old and they grew up in the Berdyansk zoo. They have never experienced true freedom, but specialists say that adaptation will be quick and easy.
“They will love Africa. There is a lot of sun and they will be able to just live. The environment in Ukraine is unnatural for them, they have to live in Africa. Not in cages, but on a territory that spans 25 hectares. They will have a great life, as they should,” Director of an International Charity Fund Anthony Lawrence said.
This animal transfer is not the last. Next year, 7 more lions which grew up in Ukraine will be brought to South Africa.
“Ministry of energy policy and environmental protection supports the position that wild animals should live in the wilderness. Holding them in captivity will definitely not make our world better. Right now, document procedures are quite complicated, but we are working to make such operations of transferring animals to their natural habitat much easier,” Deputy Minister of Energy Policy and Environmental Protection Roman Abramovskyi said.
The plan is to expand this program for other animals in the future.
“It is a great project not only for states but also for the people. It helps people to learn more from each other. South Africans come more often to Ukraine, and Ukrainians visit South Africa,” Ambassador of South African Republic to Ukraine Andre Groenewald said.
Setting zoo animals free is a worldwide trend. In a video where the prime minister of Denmark is giving a speech about animals to MPs has been gaining popularity on social media networks. The politician could not stay serious while talking about circus animals.
The politicians were amused by some unforeseen developments in the animal exchange program. The budget was calculated to buy out elephants only, but it turned out that Rambolin the elephant is a great friend of Ali the camel. So the government had to allocate money to buy him out as well.