Please consider making a donation to help save Mufasa. Any amount will do!
Update: The Department has declined our offer to write off all cost in return for Mufasa. The case will now be heard in High court in Mmabatho, which pushes up our court costs to R100 000. We tried to stay in regional court to prevent the escalation, but the department has now forced our hand, hence the increase in fundraising effort.
Update: Our rehab inspection is booked for the 6th of August 2018 after which we will reapply for permits to move them. Summons has already been sent out.
For the sake of two lions.
Mufasa's story show's a new low of the terrible reality of South Africa's lion bone trade and canned hunting. It is with dismay that we see the authority's greed in putting money before Animal welfare by trying to take a lion from a rehab centre to sell on auction instead of issuing permits for moving them to a sanctuary.
Mufasa (he came with the name) was confiscated as a cub by the authorities on the 31st December 2015. "The Rustenburg Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (Registered Wildlife Trust IT 145/10), known as “Wild for Life”, was established in 2005. This has grown into a full rehabilitation centre that treats, rehabilitates and relocates birds of prey, jackal, genets, caracal and other wildlife." Mufasa was brought to the Wildforlife rehabilitation centre while the authorities instituted legal action against the person that held him without the necessary permits. At the time, another lion cub, Soraya, was at the rehab centre as well. It was decided to put the two together to keep each other company. For nearly two years the rehab centre cared for the lions at their own cost. In November of last year we were told that the court case was over and that the people paid a guilt admission fine. We immediately put in a proposal to get the necessary permits to move both lions to a lion sanctuary but were told by the authorities that Mufasa would be sold on a public auction.
In the last few weeks we have seen and read extensively about what happens to lions in the industry. Mufasa has had a vasectomy and cannot be bred with. This means there is only one of two options left. The number of lion hunters are down and lions have been killed in high numbers for their bones to be exported to the East. Soraya and Mufasa are inseparable and it would be extremely traumatic for Soraya to lose her companion. She was in a terrible emotional state before they were united as cubs and even when moved to a bigger enclosure she was highly anxious when she woke up and couldn’t find Mufasa.
Negotiations have come to nothing. We made an offer to exchange the cost of care against the ownership of the lion but have had no response. We now have to sue the authorities to prevent the two being separated. Although our lawyer is working pro bono, court cost in this case will come to approximately R50 000. On top of this we still have to feed them while the process is ongoing. Please help us prevent the atrocity of having this beautiful lion condemned to a trophy or a bag of bones. If we can claim the cost back afterwards it will be donated to the sanctuary where they are supposed to go, to help them with feeding costs.