Air cargo services play an extremely important role in transporting cargo and equipment around the world, keeping industry and business running smoothly, but sometimes you learn about air cargo charters that are arranged for a less common but incredibly useful business.
An MD11F air cargo plane was chartered by Animal Defenders International to carry a special cargo back home. The non-profit organization transported 33 lions from South America back home to Africa, to the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa.
These lions have an unusual history, as each was retrieved from different circuses in Colombia and Peru. The cost of the charter flight was partially offset by an online fundraising campaign run in tandem by GreaterGood.com and ADI. The flight was made April 29 from Lima, Peru, to Johannesburg, South Africa, from where the animals will be transported to the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo Province.
In their new habitat, the lions will have the opportunity to experience a vast protected natural environment in the African bush, a far cry from their sad existence in the circus. Jan Creamer, president of ADI, explained:
“These lions have endured hell on earth, and now they’re coming home to heaven. This is the world that nature intended for these animals. This is a great conclusion to ADI’s operation, which has put another country out of circus misery.”
You can read more about Emoya and their work at 33lions.org, and all thirty-three of these beautiful animals are shown here.
All images courtesy of Animal Defenders International.