The weak and malnourished cubs (aged between five and thirteen months) were the result of careless breeding in the run-down Romanian zoo of Braila. The zoo was in dire financial straits and could no longer afford to care for the cubs. In return for a signed agreement to cease breeding in the zoo, FOUR PAWS agreed to assume responsibility for the young lions and release them into their big cat sanctuary, LIONSROCK.
LIONSROCK covers an area of 1250 hectares and is already home to 36 lions, two leopards, a Bengal tiger, as well as many other wild animals. Opened in February 2008, LIONSROCK provides wild animals that were subjected to harsh conditions in captivity with a better life in a more natural environment. The animals at LIONSROCK are free to live out their lives safe from captivity and cruelty.
The adult lion, Jazz was kept as a tourist attraction in a Romanian resort and visitors paid to have their photo taken with him as a souvenir. When Jazz became too large to handle he was left in a cage on a farm, where he was unable to exercise and seriously underfed.
The lions were joined on their journey by Aline, a young tigress who was badly mauled in Hunedoara zoo after she escaped from her cage with her brother. Unfortunately, the two tiger cubs escaped into a lions enclosure, where Aline’s brother was killed.. FOUR PAWS vets have helped Aline to recover her full health. At LIONSROCK Aline will provide companionship for Coda, a two-year old tiger who arrived in LIONSROCK as a cub.
The transport of the wild cats started in the Romanian town of Braila on Wednesday the 4th of June. The lion cubs made their way first to the town of Brasov, where they were joined by Jazz. They then continued on to Hunedoara where Aline joined the transfer. The wild cats left Romania by road and were flown to their new home from Frankfurt Airport, at 9 p.m. on Thursday the 5th of June. At 3:05 p.m. on Friday the 6th of June, the big cats touched down in their new homeland,
They were met at the airport by FOUR PAWS staff. After a some fresh air and water the animals were transferred to LIONSROCK, where they were released at 8 a.m. on Saturday – full of energy and happy to be free of captivity, once and for all.