Qatar Airways Cargo is joining forces with Animal Defenders International to transport six young lions to Africa

Qatar Airways Cargo has once again assisted Animal Defenders International, this time by transporting six young lions from the illegal wildlife trade to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in Johannesburg.

Known as the “Kuwait 6”, males Muheeb, Saham, Shujaa, Saif and females Dhubiya and Aziza were cared for at the Kuwait Zoo. Animal Defenders International (ADI) was approached by Kuwait government officials to help the lions, so ADI offered them a home at their 455-acre sanctuary in South Africa.

Mark Drusch, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways Cargo said: “We are proud to support ADI once again, this time by bringing these six beautiful lions to Africa. Our WeQare Rewild the Planet initiative is our commitment to returning wildlife and endangered species to their natural habitat for free.

“It takes a lot of effort and logistics for our team to organize the movement of such large animals; from the logistics at the airports, loading and unloading the animals from the plane, to ensuring the correct cages and welfare of the animals are in place, but it is something that we are all collectively very proud and passionate to be a part of to make a difference.”

Jan Creamer, president of Animals Defenders International added: “The Kuwait 6 lions have their whole lives ahead of them and will be given acres of space at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. We are grateful to Qatar Airways Cargo and their WeQare program for once again supporting us by covering the costs of air transport back to Africa. We are also very grateful to the ADI supporters who help fund their care.”

Alzahra Aljanabi, Senior Translator, Animal Welfare Department, Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources in Kuwait: “We would like to thank the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary for their support and efforts in providing a better habitat for the six Kuwait lions. We are also grateful to Qatar Airways Cargo for generously offering air transportation. People underestimate the risks of having wild animals as pets. They can be beautiful creatures, but they are also predators. We need more awareness to combat wildlife trafficking.”

Qatar Airways Cargo continues to reaffirm its commitment to animal welfare. The freight carrier recently opened its new, state-of-the-art Animal Center and relaunched its Live product, setting new standards in live animal transportation. As a leading transporter, with more than 550,000 animals flown by 2023, the airline continues to advocate for animal welfare worldwide and ensures that operations are respectful and contribute positively to animal welfare.

Qatar Airways Cargo’s WeQare sustainability program consists of a series of focus chapters based on four core pillars: environment, society, economy and culture, and is a conscious effort to create a more positive impact on the industry and the world. Chapter 2 – Rewild the Planet encourages the maintenance of ecological balance by offering free transportation to organizations involved in returning wildlife to their natural habitat.

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