Back to wild: QR Cargo flies 6 rescued lions to Joburg

The Doha-based air cargo carrier rejoins with Animal Defenders International to rescue lions from the illegal wildlife trade.

Back to wild: QR Cargo flies 6 rescued lions to Joburg
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Qatar Airways Cargo, as part of its WeQare initiative, has once again assisted Animal Defenders International (ADI) in rescuing live animals. This time, the air cargo carrier transported six young lions from the illegal wildlife trade to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in Johannesburg.

"We are proud to once again be supporting ADI, this time in bringing these six beautiful lions home to Africa. Our WeQare Rewild the Planet initiative is our commitment to returning wildlife and endangered species back to their natural habitat, free of charge," said Mark Drusch, Chief Officer Cargo, Qatar Airways Cargo, in an official release.

The "Kuwait 6" lions, consisting of four males (Muheeb, Saham, Shujaa, and Saif) and two females (Dhubiya and Aziza), were rescued by ADI after being abandoned and cared for at Kuwait Zoo. The Kuwait government officials sought ADI's assistance, and the lions were relocated to a sanctuary in South Africa.

President of Animals Defenders International, Jan Creamer, added, "The Kuwait 6 lions have their whole lives ahead of them and will have acres of space at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. We are thankful to Qatar Airways Cargo and their WeQare programme for once again supporting us by covering the cost of the air transport back to Africa."

Alzahra Aljanabi, Senior Translator at the Animal Welfare Department of the Public Authority of Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources in Kuwait, also expressed gratitude to ADI Wildlife Sanctuary and Qatar Airways Cargo. "People underestimate the risks of having wild animals as pets. They may be magnificent creatures, but they are also predators. We need more awareness to combat wildlife trafficking," added Aljanabi.

The carrier recently opened its Animal Centre and relaunched its 'Live product', setting new milestones in transporting live animals. In 2023, the Doha-based airline, with a freighter fleet of 28 Boeing 777 freighters and 230 belly-hold planes, flew over 550,000 animals.

Qatar Airways Cargo has an extensive global network with over 70 freighter destinations and 170 passenger destinations using both freighters and belly-hold capacity. The company is committed to various causes, including sustainability and animal welfare. Its WeQare sustainability programme focuses on four core pillars: environment, society, economy, and culture, aiming to create a positive impact on the industry and the world. As part of Chapter 2 of the programme, called 'Rewild the Planet,' Qatar Airways Cargo offers free transport to organisations involved in returning wild animals to their natural habitat, promoting the preservation of ecological balance.

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