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Campaign to find new home for two magnificent lions

Nelson, one of the lions needing a safe new home Credit: Born Free Foundation

Horsham-based international wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation and its co-founder, Virginia McKenna OBE, have launched an urgent appeal to assist with rehoming two magnificent lions, Ciam and Nelson. It's hoped the animals can be be moved to Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Nelson, 17, was as rescued from a zoo which went into liquidation. Ciam, a two-and-a-half year old male lion, made international headlines in November 2015 when he was confiscated from a cage in a garden in southern France.

The stories we so often have to tell are of sadness and disappointment. But, today, we have one that surely will melt the hardest of hearts and bring a smile to everyone’s face. Two beautiful lions – one quite old and the other quite young- are waiting to go to our big cat sanctuary at Shamwari, in South Africa. They have been living, temporarily, in Belgium, but they need the space, the sun and the wild habitat of the African bush. I really hope you will want to help us take them on this journey – for them the journey of a lifetime that they richly deserve, after the deprivation they have endured all their lives.

– Virginia McKenna