KEENESBURG, Colo., June 30, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ending a nearly three and one-half year stand-off between South Korean zoo officials, a deceased man's family and the Korean Animal Welfare Society (KAWA), The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado steps in to give three Lions slated for euthanasia a life-long home at its Keenesburg, Colorado facility.
In February 2015, three Lions at the Children's Grand Park Zoo in Seoul found themselves in the middle of a major controversy after one or more of them killed an animal keeper that was installing equipment in their enclosure.
Following the attack and tragic death of the worker, the man's family and others have been calling for the Lions to be euthanized. Such a move was opposed by the largest animal welfare agency in South Korea—the Korean Animal Welfare Association, which was able to exert enough pressure to spare the animals' lives until a suitable permanent home could be found for them.
The male and female Lions, and their 2-year old cub have been living in separate concrete holding cages since the attack—out of view of the public. The cub, having suffered from a severe Vitamin A deficiency while in Korea, and knowing only a life of living on concrete, will remain under close veterinary care at the Sanctuary where staff members are optimistic they can help it recover.
In April of this year, officials from KAWA made a trip to Colorado to inspect the Sanctuary's facilities and to speak with the Sanctuary's Executive Director, Pat Craig. Desiring to get the Lions out of Korea as quickly as possible, KAWA and the Sanctuary staff began making the complicated and critical arrangements for their transport immediately after the meeting.
Completing the actual rescue in record time, a rescue team from the Sanctuary arrived in Seoul on June 26, 2018 and within 24 hours had the Lions out of the zoo and secured on a transport plane bound for Los Angeles. In the meantime, another Sanctuary employee met the team and Lions in Los Angeles and the trip to Colorado was completed in a specially-designed, climate-controlled rescue/transport trailer.
The three Lions are now beginning the rehabilitation and adaptation process that will soon lead to their being released into a 15-acre natural habitat with trees, dens, shade structures and other features—assuring a rich life they never could have imagined before; a life they almost did not have.
About The Wild Animal Sanctuary:
Located near Keenesburg, Colorado, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the largest nonprofit carnivore sanctuary in the World, with over 450 rescued Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves, Leopards and other carnivores living in large acreage natural habitats. Established in 1980, the Sanctuary operates two locations of nearly 10,000 acres for abused, abandoned and confiscated carnivores and specializes in rehabilitating captive wildlife so they can be released into natural habitats where they can roam freely and live with others of their own kind. More information is available at www.wildanimalsanctuary.org
About the Korean Animal Welfare Association, from their website:
The Korean Animal Welfare Association is the largest nonprofit organization for animals in Korea. According to our slogan 'All creatures in pain and suffering have the rights to relief and to be free from it.' We work to reduce the use of animals and to restrict the kinds of animals used by human beings. We advocate the renovation of animal protection laws, encourage the rescue and adoption of abused animals, and conduct research and investigation of animal welfare. More information is available at http://www.animals.or.kr/ani-main/html/english/english.html
SOURCE The Wild Animal Sanctuary