The Mazda Foundation Southern Africa recently became involved in the rescue of lions from captivity in the Ukraine in association with the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization – Ukraine (LAEO Ukraine) and Warriors of Wildlife. In December 2019, the Mazda Foundation donated funds so that five lion cubs could be relocated from Ukraine to a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.
South African born wildlife activist Lionel de Lange had approached Jacaranda’s “Good Morning Angels” to look for support in covering the transport of the five cubs from the Ukraine to South Africa. The Mazda Foundation Southern Africa stepped in to help. In addition to the funds donated for the air transport, the Foundation provided five BT-50 bakkies for the ground transport of the lions from OR Tambo International Airport, to Ubuntu sanctuary in Limpopo.
Craig Roberts, Managing Director of Mazda Southern Africa and Chairman of the Mazda Foundation Southern Africa, said: “It is an incredible project to be involved in to bring these lions back to their natural habitat in South Africa. Mazda Southern Africa is a significant company in South Africa and has a responsibility to give something back to the country. The Mazda Foundation Southern Africa agreed to support this project to save these magnificent African animals from the canned hunting industry and give them a safe home.”
Wednesday, 05 February 2020, saw the second such support project by the Mazda Foundation. Another four lions, rescued from terrible living conditions and some almost certain death, arrived in South Africa. In the same manner as previously, the Mazda Foundation assisted with funds for the air transport, and provided BT-50 bakkies for the ground transport. After a long trip that started 3 days earlier in Ukraine, these four lions arrived safely at the Love Lions Alive sanctuary in the evening of Wednesday, 05 February.
Says Lionel de Lange “To see the lions take their first steps on South African soil – there are no words to explain it. Thank you to the Mazda Foundation Southern Africa for their support to fly these lions to freedom and into their new home where they will live the rest of their lives”.