Air France KLM Martinair Cargo facilitates special transport of lions to South Africa

Lions Vasylyna and Nikola boarding a Martinair Cargo 747 freighter aircraft headed for South Africa

Lions Vasylyna and Nikola embarked on a significant journey on 25 April, boarding on a Martinair Cargo 747 freighter aircraft headed for South Africa.

The two lions are now en route from FELIDA, the specialised sanctuary for big cats run by animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS in Friesland, the Netherlands, to LIONSROCK, an expansive 1250-hectare sanctuary managed by the same organisation in South Africa.

The airline boasts a dedicated animal hotel at its KLM Cargo facilities at Schiphol and expert staff members who diligently oversee the welfare of animals throughout the trip.

Mirjam Scherer, Global Head of Specials Logistics at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo said: “At our animal hotel at Schiphol, we prioritise dedication to providing the best care for our animal passengers.

“We ensure the highest level of attention and care for every animal under our care, from the moment of arrival to departure.

“Our team of seasoned professionals is ready to deliver the best service and care, including special diets, administering medication, and, of course, plenty of love and attention.

“We strive to ensure that every animal with us is happy, healthy, and well-cared for.”

Petra Sleven, director of FOUR PAWS said: “The relocation of Vasylyna and Nikola to LIONSROCK means they finally have the opportunity to live in a large sanctuary, surrounded by other lions.

“While it’s saddening that they never had the chance to be released into the wild due to illegal trade, we are glad to offer them a more natural life here”.

Lions arrived in JNB