In the very early hours of the 23rd of June we met at the New Hope Centre to load and bid a final farewell to Seeta, Saba and the three spotted African Hyenas who would be travelling home to Lionsrock South Africa. It was very bittersweet, as this time we would be saying goodbye from Amman as none of us would be travelling with them. However we couldn't be happier as we knew that they were going to the best possible place!
All the animals, except for Saba, were darted and loaded into the crates...
Saba calmly went into his crate as if knowing, though the journey may be long, he was off to a better place and sat waiting patiently to be loaded onto the vehicle on the first leg of his trip home.
The hyenas started to wake up before we loaded them and we were very pleased they remained calm throughout the whole ordeal!
Our friends at Aramex had come to our rescue yet again and sponsored the trip. Without them this would not have been possible and we were very proud to have them on board as our partners.
We loaded the crates into the vehicles, and after a last check of water, locks and the like we said our final goodbyes.
Each minute of the day and that night felt like an eternity as we waited for news of their safe arrival to South Africa. Finally at 1:00pm on the afternoon of the 24th we got word that they had arrived and all were well and safe! Pictures quickly thereafter...
En Route to Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary amid the World Cup mahem!
Seeta takes her first steps into her new enclosure.
She settles in well next to her future companion Simba!
The Hyenas waste no time stepping out of the confines of their crates into the freedom of their new home.
As for Saba; he was given a warm welcome by Hope, Arandas, Muhawish, Khawla and Amra (although Khawla did try to show him who the boss is!)
This is Arandas saying hello to Saba. They will be together on Monday 28th June, as they are still getting used to each other!
Although we are reminded every day of those who left us as we pass the empty enclosures at New Hope, however we are filled with joy and emense gratitude knowing that they are safe and free at Lionsrock.
We had received word a few weeks ago that there was a request submitted to the government for the licensing of a new zoo in the north of the country. The government refused the licence due to the terrible situation we already have in the present zoos. Obviously we couldn't have been happier with the decision. A few days ago however, you can just imagine our surprise and actual horror at the news that they had gone ahead anyway and opened the zoo!
We immediately jumped in the car and headed up north to make sure this was true, hoping that it was just a terrible rumour. Unfortunately it was true and although the zoo had not been completed, there were some animals in already. One dog, two monkeys, a goose, ducks, chickens, guinea fowl, rabbits, porcupines and a vulture. There were other enclosures still under construction and as we understood the plan was to have lions, tigers and hyenas. This deal had been struck with one of the already existing zoos who were going to sell the animals to this one.
I won't even begin to explain the conditions the animals were in; I will leave it for you decide if it is right through the pictures below...
As you can see from the pictures above, there was no water, the animals were living in their own filth and there was no shade or enrichment for them. After a few phone calls to the government bodies responsible, the decision was taken to immediately close the zoo and confiscate the animals. Thanks to the very quick action and response of the teams, the animals left the zoo that evening and were rehomed at the appropriate facilities for care and rehabilitation.
The two monkeys came to the New Hope Centre where an enclosure was quickly converted in order to provide a safe haven for the newest guests!
On being released into their new temporary home, the little two spared no time in discovering their new area and seemed to enjoy the fact that they were able to climb on natural branches again. It was a joy to watch.
The commitment and quick action of the government and the response of the teams and the RSCN means that these animals will now have a chance at a good life and those who think they may get away with doing things they want without the proper approvals will also learn that rules and regulations are applicable in Jordan!!