Turkish Airlines moves circus lions to natural habitat
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
“Turkish Cargo has brought three young lionesses Luca, Charlie, Kai and young lion Nathan to South Africa, their natural habitat, from Kiev via a connecting flight from Istanbul,” the airline said in a statement marking March 3, World Wildlife Day.
In Ukraine’s capital, the lions had lived poor lives, deprived of direct sunlight and clean air, said the airline, confined to concrete and steel cage of just 35 square meters, far from their natural habitat.
The queens and kings of the jungle were transported in specially designed containers, and their nutritional needs were also met along the way, added the statement.
During the flight they were accompanied by their keepers, special veterinarians, and authorities from the LAEO and Turkish Cargo personnel certified in transporting live animals, it said.
The lions’ new home is a natural habitat offering green coastal forest and meadows extending along 14,000 square meters.
“Having ratified the United For Wildlife Declaration in 2017 for the purpose of preventing illegal wildlife trade and increasing the industrial awareness thereto, Turkish Airlines has highlighted its cognizance of the live animal transportation processes and animal rights,” the company said.
Last year, the company carried 75.2 million passengers with a seat occupancy rate of 82 percent, and this year aims to reach 80 million passengers on domestic and international routes.