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FOUR PAWS and LIONSROCK celebrated World Animal Day with 40 children from Child Welfare Bethlehem

FOUR PAWS and LIONSROCK celebrated World Animal Day by treating 40 children from Child Welfare Bethlehem to a fun and educational day at our Big Cat Sanctuary. The children, who all come from difficult backgrounds, were able to relate to the animals who have been fortunate enough to get a second chance at a good life at LIONSROCK. Gladys Mokwena our Education Facilitator made sure the children left well informed, and with a new love and understanding of animals.


In South Africa there are many big cats which are waiting for an appropriate accommodation. In order to help trophy hunters to a fast success, these lions are held in very small enclosures without any retreat possibilities, where they often vegetate until they are being sold for hunts. Animal protectors in the whole world have been striving to put an end to this cruel canned hunting for some time. Since the animals grew up with humans and are already accustomed to humans, they cannot be released into the wild anymore.

© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

After extensive research in various countries FOUR PAWS decided to take over an already existing park in the republic of South Africa. In the centre of the area there is a prominent rock called „LIONSROCK" after which the new big cats’ hideaway will be named.


On this approximately 1,250 ha area, close to the city of Bethlehem, north of Lesotho, some lions of different age and a tiger are living beside zebras, gnus, horses and antelopes.

© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile



Although the park offers ideal conditions concerning its location, the area structure as well as water supply, its standard did not meet (at first) the requirements of FOUR PAWS regarding appropriate big cat husbandry. Before the first animals could be moved to LIONSROCK, the infrastructure of the park had to be brought to a standard which corresponded to other FOUR PAWS projects as it is the case, for instance, at the BAERENWALD Arbesbach, Austria, or the DANCING BEAR PARK Belitsa, Bulgaria.

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