European lions for South African breeding farms
Even lions that are born in Europe end up in the lion industry: Animals from European zoos are being sold more and more frequently to questionable purchasers in South Africa. They are then utilised for breeding in order to add fresh genes into the population. Many zoo lions in Europe have particularly dark manes – something that is extremely desired by trophy hunters and for which top dollar is paid.
Maria and Marian rescued
FOUR PAWS was able to rescue the lion siblings, Maria and Marian, from sharing this fate - literally at the last second. The three year old lions, male and female, came from the French zoo “African Safari Parc Zoologique” near Toulouse and were to be sold to a South African purchaser. That this purchaser also bred and organised lion hunting in captivity was not something that the zoo was aware of.
FOUR PAWS was able to stop the deal and took over the lions themselves in Spring 2010. Their new home is FOUR PAWS’s big cats sanctuary in South Africa: Maria and Marian will live out their lives in safety under the South African sun at LIONSROCK.
To ensure that no further lions from Toulouse end their lives due to Canned Hunting, the zoo has made the commitment to FOUR PAWS not to breed any more lions unless they are able to guarantee a secure home for the lions where they will be looked after appropriately.