Six young lions rescued from the illegal wildlife trade as a part of Qatar Airways Cargo WeQare initiative

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’, the males Muheeb, Saham, Shujaa, Saif, and females Dhubiya and Aziza were cared for at Kuwait Zoo. Animal Defenders International (ADI) was contacted 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, expressed pride in supporting ADI. It takes a lot of effort and logistics for our team to organise moving such large animals; from the logistics at the airports, loading and unloading the animals from the aircraft, to ensuring the correct cages and wellbeing of the animals are in place, but it is something we are all collectively very proud and passionate to be a part of.’

Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International, added that the six lions will enjoy acres of space at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. ‘We are thankful to Qatar Airways Cargo and their WeQare programme in once again supporting us by covering the cost of the air transport back to Africa. We are also very thankful to the ADI supporters who are helping to fund their care.’

Alzahra Aljanabi, Senior Translator at the Animal Welfare Department, Public Authority of Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources in Kuwait, also expressed gratitude to the 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.’

Qatar Airways Cargo continues to reaffirm its commitment to animal welfare. The cargo carrier recently opened its new state-of-the-art Animal Centre and relaunched its Live product, setting new benchmarks in the transport of live animals. As a leading transporter, with over 550,000 animals flown in 2023, the airline continues to advocate animal welfare globally, ensuring operations respect and contribute positively to animal well-being.

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


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