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Four Paws celebrates World Animal Day at Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary

Each and every one of us can make a difference for animals. World Animal Day is celebrated annually all over the world, and aims to raise the status of animals in order to improve their welfare standards.

LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary, a project by FOUR PAWS South Africa, will be marking the day by celebrating with children from the local community. LIONSROCK provides an appropriate, lifelong home for big cats that were kept in inadequate conditions in zoos, circuses, private captivity or have been victims of the canned lion hunting and lion breeding industry. The sanctuary is situated 18km outside of Bethlehem, in the Free State province of South Africa and houses over 100 big cats from all over the world. 

Our vision is a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding; and by educating the youth who live in the immediate area of the sanctuary on this coming World Animal Day, we hope to work towards this important vision.

LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary’s educator, along with FOUR PAWS South Africa, will be sharing the day with 25 local children from their Bethlehem Community Sessions and the DDI Orphanage that participate in their Education Programme. The children will visit the big cat sanctuary, and learn about the animals who call this place home. The focus of this day will be to further instill in them love, respect and understanding for ALL animals.  A fun day of educational and awareness activities is planned with games, an educational talk, and making enrichment activities for the big cats – as well as giving the animals their newly made enrichment!  

LIONSROCK encourages other sanctuaries, animal welfare organizations, community groups, youth and children’s clubs, businesses and individuals to organize their own events in celebration of World Animal Day.  

Our World Animal Day 2018 celebrations at LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctaury was a huge success! FOUR PAWS South Africa and LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctauary celebrated World Animal Day 2018 on Thursday, 11 October by inviting a group of children from the neighbouring Bethlehem communities. 

We had so much fun – educational and awareness activities, games, an educational talk on what we do at LIONSROCK, caring for animals and the meaning of World Animal Day. The highlight of the day was the children making enrichment activities for the big cats. Enrichment activities structures are filled with grasses, spices, perfumes and other items which stimulate the big cats’ senses and encourages them to play, bite, scratch and explore these structures – eager to get to the inside of the structure and enjoy the surprise.  Big cats love different scents and smells, and this enrichment programme is vital to their wellbeing. Sadly, they can never be returned to the natural wild, as they were born in captivity and raised by humans. LIONSROCK is a true sanctuary which means the big cats are not hunted, do not have any human interaction, and do not breed. LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary is a species appropriate habitat stretched over 1 250 hectares of wild African landscape and is home to nearly 100 rescued big cats (lion, tiger, leopard and cheetah) from around the world.

Each and every one of us can make a difference to animals – and here at FOUR PAWS/LIONSROCK, we believe in starting young and encouraging More Humanity towards Animals.
A huge thank you to everyone who made a donation and helped make this day possible: especially local businesses FNB Bethlehem, WMF Financial Advisors – Free State, Sign Studio and Enslins Auditors Bethlehem.


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