Land Rover and the Born Free Foundation have been partners in
many ventures involving the welfare of animals but it was
Simba’s recent journey from Belgium to Malawi that attracted the
most media attention.
Simba, a nine year old
male lion, had spent all his years in captivity in Belgium but
thanks to the intervention of the Born Free Foundation, together
with interested parties in Belgium, it was arranged for Simba to
be received as a new resident of the Lilongwe Wild Life Centre.
Here, he would be provided
with a spacious enclosure filled with natural habitat that would
provide him with an environment which he has been deprived of
for all his years.
A journey of more than
8000 kilometres requires a lot of planning but once all the
detail had been finalised, Simba was loaded into his
purpose-made crate and delivered to Schipol Airport (Amsterdam)
from Belgium by a Land Rover Experience Team.
A short-stopover at
Nairobi Airport saw Simba relocated onto a flight to Lilongwe
where he was greeted on the apron by a huge team of well-wishers
made up of Born Free Foundation directors and staff, carers from
Belgium, the international press and Land Rover staffers, not
least a team from the sub-Sahara Africa office based in
Simba in his new home, Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi.
Indeed, transporting Simba
from Lilongwe Airport to his new sanctuary on the outskirts of
the city had been the subject of much planning by the team from
the Land Rover Experience, Kyalami.
Three vehicles - an Evoque,
a Defender and a Discovery 4 - had been collected from the
nearest official Land Rover dealership, Alliance Motors in
Lusaka, and driven all the way across Zambia into Malawi in time
to meet Simba and his excited entourage right beneath the Kenya
Airways aircraft which had been especially consigned to carry
this precious cargo.
It was the silver
Discovery 4, complete with the signage of the Born Free/Land
Rover partnership, that was assigned to make the journey to the
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre with Simba in tow, heading up a convoy
of vehicles filled with interested parties eager to learn how
the star of the show would settle into his new abode alongside
long-term resident Bella, the lioness who hopefully will soon
become his companion for life.
Heavy rains had ensured
the narrow access roads leading to Simba’s enclosure were
decidedly muddy, but notwithstanding the heavy load on tow, the
Land Rover Discovery 4 in the skilled hands of team members of
the Land Rover Experience, Kyalami, delivered its precious cargo
to much applause from the eager gathering.
Indeed, the Born Free
Foundation, represented by Marketing Director Anne Tudor,
expressed its deep gratitude to Land Rover and to the team from
sub-Sahara Africa for the assistance provided in relocating
Simba. “This team has driven a long, long way to provide the
final link in the relocation of Simba and we are all immensely
grateful for the support and commitment shown in helping the
Foundation realise its noble objectives.”
In response, Willem
Schoeman, Marketing and PR Manager for Jaguar Land Rover
sub-Sahara Africa, expressed his satisfaction with the positive
outcome of this very newsworthy event, saying: “Land Rover has
enjoyed a long-standing partnership with the Born Free
Foundation and it is a great pleasure for Land Rover sub-Sahara
Africa to have assisted in realising one of the stated
objectives of the Foundation which is to provide wild life with
the best possible living environment.”.
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Captain Mavadia
Manoj (L), Kenya Airways pilot who flew the lion from
Amsterdam to Nairobi converses with Born Free’s Founder &
Trustee Virginia McKenna beside Simba the lion in Nairobi,
capital of Kenya, Feb. 21, 2014. A lion called Simba
arrived in Nairobi on Friday, on transit to Lilongwe
Wildlife Centre in Malawi from Belgium after Born Free &
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
airlifts rescued lion to back conservation efforts
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.
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.
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.
Kenya Airways CEO said the airline airlifted Simba as live cargo
as part of Simba’s 4,900 mile journey.
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 7 years before his rescue.