Kept inside a 35-square meter mortar and steel cage in harsh conditions in Ukraine, away from their natural habitat, the cub named Nathan and his three sisters Luca, Charlie, and Kai were used as circus animals for years, removed from nature, direct sunlight, and fresh air.
After years spent in harsh conditions, the lions were saved by the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) which has the mission to defend animal rights, and were taken to their natural habitat in South Africa with the sponsorship of Turkish Cargo, a global air cargo brand.
Having showed utmost care for its previous live animal transport operations, Turkish Cargo successfully carried the lion family. Carried in special containers designed according to their needs for food and water, the lions were accompanied during their journey by caretakers, veterinarians, a representative from the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO), and a member of staff of Turkish Cargo with IATA’s LAR (Live Animals Regulations) certification.
After traveling for nearly 9,000 kilometers, the lions took their first step into freedom at Kragga Kamma Game Park which has the most crowded herds in Africa and coastal forests and marshes spanning 14,000 square meters. Having been estranged from their natural habitat and real home, the lions will now be able to play with their new friends and to embark on new adventures.
One of the rarest predators in nature, lions are known as the kings of the animal kingdom. Although they inhabited many regions of the world, the population of these glorious animals has seriously declined due to the invasion and deterioration of their natural habitat by humankind. The World Wildlife Fun (WWF) has emphasized the rapid extinction of the lion species, especially in Africa, and has declared the necessity to take emergency preservation measures.
More suitable for family and social life compared to other animals in the Felidae family, lions live in prides and act with an instinct of loyalty through collaboration. The male is the leader of the pride, but it’s mostly the females that do the hunting. Nathan, who is under a year old, will grow up in a place with conditions closer to his natural habitat and may become the leader of the pride. His sisters Luca, Charlie, and Kai can become hunters and essential members of the pride.
Having ratified the “United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration (UFW)” in 2017 to prevent illegal wildlife trade and increase the industry's awareness of this issue, Turkish Airlines highlighted the significance it attaches to live animal transport and animal rights.
Creating the best possible conditions for animals in the sky, conditions akin to their natural habitat in order to transport them with the utmost care, Turkish Cargo operates in compliance with CITES and IATA’s LAR regulations for admission, storage, and delivery processes, and is meticulous about following the rules of documentation, caging, tagging, and marking as specified in the regulations.
Carrying out its operations with respect to animal populations and nature, Turkish Cargo, a global air cargo brand, flies to 55 destinations in Africa.