February 10 2010 at 07:03PM
Oradea, Romania – Thirteen lions living in squalid conditions at a Romanian zoo are being flown to a new life at Britain’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
“This is the biggest lion rescue operation carried out in Europe to my knowledge,” said Daiana Ghender, director of Oradea zoo in north-western Romania.
The lions, aged eight months to 27 years, underwent a check-up by a British veterinary team before being transfered to a lorry for Budapest, from where they will catch a plane to Yorkshire.
Oradea zoo is home to 800 animals and has recently launched a modernisation programme to help improve conditions for its other tenants
“If we had kept the lions, we would have spent all our money on their comfort, and this would simply not have been possible,” Ghender said.
According to her, the lions must be fed about 11kg of meat daily, a ration increasingly difficult to provide given a shortage of funding.
The zoo also sent three big cats to Africa last year. – Sapa-AFP
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org