The municipality from La Rioja, Argentina, has expropriated the city zoo when the neglect and state of the animals living conditions, were made public knowledge. For 20 years, the former owner, Rodriguez, ran an illegal breeding farm under the guise of a zoo, and sold big cat cubs, to circus owners and private individuals. He ran a two-fold operation whereby he accepted money for the “business transactions” as well as accepted subsidies for the “zoo”.
The Mayor and his colleagues bravely stepped in to care for the abandoned animals in 2016. However, not being animal caretakers by profession, they could only provide basic care. There were too many animals, that were unfortunately living in enclosures that were in appalling conditions. A private initiative for raising funds was created and the mission to re-home these big cats was born. A sad truth is that, very few wildlife sanctuaries are interested in tigers and lions, due to the upkeep, maintenance and specific care these animals require, so the mission is a difficult one to tackle, but, not impossible.
In co-operation with the owners of the Ukuthanda Lodge in South Africa, Ubuntu agreed to create a safe haven, a wildlife sanctuary, for these animals on 500 hectares of prime indigenous land, in the beautiful North West Province of South Africa.
As Argentina is currently heading for, what might be their worst economic crisis since 2001, it is now more urgent than ever before, to rescue and relocate the Argentinean big cats and get them to the safety of their forever home at Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa.
Once we have completed the rescue mission, these big cats will be relocated into large natural enclosures, that are specifically designed to stimulate their natural senses and provide them with, as much of a natural life as possible. They will be able to swim in large natural pools, experience the smells and sounds of nature; reside in a natural environment with bushveld, fauna and flora, and live out their lives that they were naturally born to do, after the many years of suffering, neglect and imprisonment in steel and concrete cages.
In order for us to achieve these goals, we are in desperate need of financial contributions, donations and sponsorships. We currently have set up a volunteer program, however we are still in need of financial contributions to cover the flight costs for our big cats journey, their camp construction, specialised veterinary costs, and the initial specialised feeding costs.
Only with your help, can we save them, and give them a new start in their forever home in South Africa.