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© VIER PFOTEN | Mihai Vasile

In South Africa there are many big cats which are waiting for an appropriate accommodation. In order to help trophy hunters to a fast success, these lions are held in very small enclosures without any retreat possibilities, where they often vegetate until they are being sold for hunts. Animal protectors in the whole world have been striving to put an end to this cruel canned hunting for some time. Since the animals grew up with humans and are already accustomed to humans, they cannot be released into the wild anymore.

After extensive research in various countries FOUR PAWS decided to take over an already existing park in the republic of South Africa. In the centre of the area there is a prominent rock called „LIONSROCK" after which the new big cats’ hideaway will be named.


On this approximately 1,250 ha area, close to the city of Bethlehem, north of Lesotho, some lions of different age and a tiger are living beside zebras, gnus, horses and antelopes.

Although the park offers ideal conditions concerning its location, the area structure as well as water supply, its standard did not meet (at first) the requirements of FOUR PAWS regarding appropriate big cat husbandry. Before the first animals could be moved to LIONSROCK, the infrastructure of the park had to be brought to a standard which corresponded to other FOUR PAWS projects as it is the case, for instance, at the BAERENWALD Arbesbach, Austria, or the DANCING BEAR PARK Belitsa, Bulgaria.


You can learn more about the LIONSROCK project here.

© VIER PFOTEN | Mihai Vasile