A South African expat living in the Ukraine has saved four lions and worked tirelessly to get them to a sanctuary back home… that day is finally here!


Lionel de Lange (53) moved to Ukraine in 2006. He was browsing through Facebook one day when he saw the need for assistance with the zoo animals in 2014.

It was during the Maidan Revolution, the zoo animals were left to starve. Moved by this, Lionel spoke to his sister and asked for advice on how to help out. She had remembered a story about Lawrence Anthony, an amazing South African who had rescued zoo animals in Baghdad during the 2003 Iraq War. When looking into it, they learned that Lawrence had passed away in 2012 but a foundation had been set up in his name.

The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation (LAEO) works all over the world to save animals in need. Lionel got in contact and started working on setting up a branch in Ukraine.

The organisation started helping to feed a collection of lions and bears trapped in zoos across Ukraine. Aside from working to save animals, they have also started making plans to get the lions in Ukraine back to South Africa. After long, hard work, 3 lionesses and a lion cub are on their way back to a home in South Africa.

The lion cub called Nathan, and Luca, Charlie and Kai were rescued from a private zoo. Today they were placed in their crates and boarded a plane back to South Africa.

Lionel did a live Facebook video showing the lions being loaded into the plane.

“Our lions, Charlie, Kai, Luca and Nathan leave Ukraine in a few hours to start their flight HOMEWARD bound to South Africa. It could not have come sooner as the snow has started falling around Ukraine.”

Lionel has invited any supporters that would like to Hi to visit them at OR Tambo.

“We land at 11.05 Wednesday morning and then will move the lions from OR Tambo to Rand airport. You are welcome to come and say Hi at OR Tambo”

During the video, Lionel thanked all the supporters that help fund the relocation.

“Thank you for your support and keep the LIONS in your thoughts, this is very stressful for them and now for their 1st flight (much like our vet) Positive thoughts, vibes, prayers or whatever you believe in for them.”

You can watch the video below.

Sources: Facebook
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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