Intradco and Turkish Cargo fly lions to new home

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Picture credit: Magnus News/Lionel De Lange

Intradco Global and Turkish Cargo have transported four lions to South Africa, saving them from a bleak future as part of a travelling circus.

Born into captivity in a travelling circus and kept in cramped conditions, twin sisters Charlie and Kai, 4, and younger sister Luca, 3, were facing a bleak future until the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation intervened.

A one-year-old male cub named Nathan was also saved, having been kept caged in unsanitary conditions by a trainer who planned to sell him as a performing animal.

Once rescued, the lions were put in a temporary enclosure until they could be moved to the Kragga Kamma Game Park, a coastal forest and grassland expanse where the animals can roam freely.

The four lions travelled in the lower deck of an Airbus A330 passenger aircraft from Kiev, Ukraine to Istanbul, Turkey where they were transferred to a second aircraft for their onward journey to Johannesburg.

They were transported in custom designed pallets containing food and water, and accompanied on the flight by a vet, a specialist handler and a representative from the Lawrence Anthony team.

Intradco worked closely with the Lawrence Anthony team to ensure all permits and certifications were in place for the shipment including valid CITES documentation (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

Intradco project manager, Dane Riecker says: “We’re delighted to have been of assistance to Charlie, Kai, Luca, and Nathan, and we hope they enjoy their new home. Logistics projects of this kind always require careful planning, and we would like to thank Turkish Cargo and the other parties involved for working around the needs of these VIP passengers.”

Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation Ukraine CEO, Lionel de Lange says: “Intradco Global and Turkish Cargo’s efforts made it possible to get these lions home, otherwise we would still be sitting in Ukraine waiting to take them to South Africa. It’s been great to work with them. Their team looked at the various options and found the best route with the shortest travel from Ukraine, from Kiev to Johannesburg. As and when we do this again, Intradco will be the first people I call.”