Seven African Lions Relocated to Sandstone’s Wildcat Sanctuary

The Final Two Lions Arrived Tuesday Morning

Sandstone, Minn. – Sandstone now has seven African Lions, they’ve been re-homed inside the Wildcat Sanctuary.

The big cats have come a long way, they’re from Argentina. The final two cats arrived Tuesday to start a new life after the country decided to close its government-funded zoos.

The pair named Leo and Mansa made it through a 26-hour car trip from Miami to Sandstone after flying into the US earlier this month and being delayed by poor weather.

Argentina is shutting down its government funded zoos, transitioning exotic animals off of a life on display to eco-parks.

Places like the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone give them a fresh start and a private life.

“This is a retirement home for cats, where they finally get to be wild at heart,” said sanctuary founder Tammy Thies. “They’ll have free-roaming habitats with indoor temp controlled buildings because lions don’t live in snow in the wild.”

The pair are actually siblings, separated at birth and soon to be reunited for a family reunion of sorts.

“They were born to the same litter and sent to separate zoos, now they’re coming back together as brother and sister,” said Jenna Hensler, the sanctuary’s outreach coordinator.

The sanctuary is a non-profit that now houses 115 cats. They worked on this project with the Argentina government for several years to make homes for the cats. To help support their work, click here.

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