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Lion Simba in Nairobi on transit to Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Captain Mavadia Manoj (left), Kenya Airways pilot who flew the lion from Amsterdam to Nairobi converses with Born Free’s Founder and Trustee Virginia McKenna beside Simba the lion in Nairobi. A lion called Simba arrived in Nairobi on transit to Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi from Belgium after Born Free and The Natuurhulpcentrum (Wildlife Rescue Centre) set Simba the lion free on his epic journey to the Born Free-supported Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi. XINHUA PHOTO - SIMBI KUSIMBA

Kenya Airways airlifts a 'Born Free' lion to new home in Lilongwe

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya Airways said Monday it has facilitated transfer of Simba, a rescued lion as live cargo from Netherlands to Lilongwe Wildlife Center, a sanctuary in Malawi via Nairobi as part of conservation awareness.

The airline’s CEO Titus Naikuni said the provision of safe transportation of Simba has reaffirmed the national carrier’s commitment to supporting wildlife conservation.

"I find this an amazing example of how we can connect across the globe to protect endangered wildlife for their return and long- term survival in their natural habitats," Naikuni said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said the initiative is part of the airline’s partnership with the Born Free Foundation, the global wildlife charity, towards supporting wildlife conservation by rescuing endangered animals and restoring them to their natural habitats.

"Wildlife is our heritage, and its conservation and protection is the responsibility of all of us," Naikuni noted.

The Kenya Airways CEO said the airline airlifted Simba as live cargo as part of Simba’s 4,900 mile journey.

It culminated into the uniting of Simba with Bella, a lioness that was rescued by Born Free and also transported by Kenya Airways from a Romanian zoo back in 2009.

Simba, who was born in a French zoo in 2005, before being acquired by an independent animal trainer, with whom he has been living for seven years before his rescue.

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