Two years in the making: Sudanese lions finally call Al Ma’wa home 

Following two years of preparation, lioness Kandaka and lion Mansour finally arrived to their new home in Al Ma'wa


London, 15 November 2022 – Following two years of meticulous preparations, global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS, in joint collaboration with Princess Alia Foundation (PAF), and support of Sudan Animal Rescue (SAR) and Sudanese Wildlife Authority, successfully transferred two Sudanese lions to Al Ma’wa, Jordan, where they will finally receive the special long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation they need. 

In 2020 FOUR PAWS received photos of two malnourished and emaciated lions, lioness Kandaka and lion Mansour, who were left to starve at Al Qurashi Family Park, a zoo in Khartoum, the capitol of Sudan.  

Due to the economic crisis of the country the zoo´s managers no longer had the means to look after the animals, and local Osman Salih started an online campaign to raise awareness for the tragic status of the zoo and the photos quickly circulated the globe.  

FOUR PAWS quickly took action to work with the relevant Sudanese authorities, and an experienced team of vets and FOUR PAWS Director of Project Development, Dr Amir Khalil, were granted permission to enter the country to provide the animals with urgent help.  

Unsurprisingly, the long-term starvation had caused irreversible damage to the lions' bodies and it was clear they would need ongoing treatment and monitoring for the rest of their lives. This meant moving them to Al Ma’wa Wildlife reserve, a sanctuary that could provide this dedicated medical care, in a species-appropriate environment. 

The sanctuary is located 50 km North of Amman and inherits other wild animals from war-torn countries such as Syria, Gaza, Pakistan and Iraq. 

Sadly, due to the unstable political situation in Sudan and the increasing violence in the Southern part of the country, the FOUR PAWS team was forced to pause this final part of this transfer mission in July 2022, until the situation was stabilised. 

Finally, this week, Dr Amir and his experienced team of vets and wildlife experts, were able to complete the rescue, flying the 1,153.73 miles from Khartoum to Amman with the two big cats. Kandaka and Mansour both handled the journey very well, and neither were sedated, in order to allow our team to keep a closer eye on both animals.  

The team were greeted at the airport by Princess Alia and after  a quick check by Dr Amir Khalil, the lions were released into their well-equipped new sanctuary of Al Ma'wa Wildlife Reserve. 

Now, the final chapter of Kandaka and Mansour’s  long journey can start, leaving behind their ordeal in Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo in Khartoum and finally allowing them to enjoy their new life in serenity.  

“The future of Kandaka and Mansour is finally certain. I am so glad we were able to bring the two lions to Jordan where they will receive the medical attention they need. Seeing them easing into their new species-appropriate home, is the best reward. I wish them a peaceful and happy stay and would like to thank everyone who supported us on this long journey.  

“Special thanks go to Princess Alia Foundation, Sudan Animal Rescue and Sudan Wildlife Authority, and to all the colleagues of Al Ma'wa, without their effort this complex operation would not have been possible. I would also like to thank the FOUR PAWS team for not giving up and continuously working to provide the needed medical care to those two lions.” 

Dr Khalil, FOUR PAWS vet and Director of Project Development

FOUR PAWS specifically wants to thank Eric S. Margolis, who supported this mission from the very beginning and whose generosity continues to provide the medical support these lions require for the remainder of their lifetime. 

Head of Communications UK: Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker

Head of Communications UK

020 7922 7954

07966 032 235

7 - 14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR


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