FIRST 13 LIONS
Our first project was, of course, building a wonderful home for our 13 lions that already lived in South Africa. These lions come from circuses or were no longer wanted at animal parks and found shelter at Stichting Leeuw in the Netherlands. Between 2015 and 2019 they moved to a temporary sanctuary in South Africa and they now have a final and permanent home at The Lions Foundation.
For this to happen, a lot was needed. We carefully picked a stretch of land where we built seven large enclosures. Every enclosure has a concrete cabin where the lions can shelter against bad weather and a small separation enclosure where they live for the first few weeks to get accustomed to their new environment, and where they are fed. In the map below you can see where the animal keepers planned where each ‘pride’ were to go.
The fencing is high and strong and is further secured by electric wires. What’s more, surrounding the whole camp is another fence, equally high and strong. Although we are located in a relatively safe region, poaching is always a danger. So, on top of all the fencing we have our own security team, guarding the lions day and night, and even more security measures which, you will surely understand, we cannot divulge here.
The camp is not far from the main lodge of Schrikkloof Private Nature Reserve, close to the volunteers and keepers who stay there too. They, and the lodge guests, will hear the lions roar at night…
To store, cut and prepare the lions food, we built a large kitchen with freezer and fridge rooms, up to standards. This is called a coldroom, you can see it in the upper right corner of the map.
At The Lions Foundation we aim to stimulate natural behaviour of the animals. For this reason, we don’t use drinking troughs, but instead built small ponds at ground level which are constantly fed fresh water. The lions can drink from them and some (like Isolde) might even go in for a bath!
The Lions Foundation is grateful to the owners of Schrikkloof Private Nature Reserve, who have offered us the use of their land for free. Also, guests at the lodge and the volunteers contribute towards the care for the lions. But we could not have realised The Lions Foundation without the kind people and companies who have sponsored and/or adopted one or more of the lions at Stichting Leeuw. Of course, you can still adopt or sponsor – please click here.
We have big plans for the future, as there are still many lions out there who will need a new home because they can no longer be kept by circuses or private individuals.
To provide such a new home, we will need funds – moving one group of lions to South Africa and building an enclosure for them, costs at least €30,000 ($35,000 / ZAR580,000).
So keep an eye on the project pages, we might appeal to you later!
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