Our goal was to reach an agreement where Animals Australia would be given custody of the animals most in need; that the illegal breeding and selling of all animals would stop permanently in return for us working with zoo owners to dramatically improve the lives of those who remained. These were some of the most complex negotiations in the history of Animals Australia but we have now signed the first agreement with one of the zoos which enabled us to take into our care three Syrian bear cubs, a 4-month-old African lion cub, two Striped hyenas, an Arabian wolf, three Great White pelicans, a Golden eagle, an Egyptian vulture, a falcon, and one feisty (yet adorable) Eurasian badger.
The day Animals Australia took these animals ‘under our wing’ was truly memorable! It was incredibly special for the Animals Australia team to work side by side with Jordanians, including the zoo owners, their staff and their children — one and all motivated by providing these animals with a better, kinder life.
Working with the veterinary team from the Princess Alia Foundation was a wonderful reminder of how, little by little, our efforts are creating a kinder world. The Foundation had come into existence as a result of Animals Australia’s work on behalf of the victims of Australia’s live export trade. But most special of all was knowing that, from that moment onwards, these animals would only know kindness — and that a door was now open at this zoo that would enable us to transform thinking and the lives of other animals in need.
The animals are thriving in their new, albeit temporary, homes. After a life of deprivation, the bear cubs now have play equipment to climb and a pool which they throw themselves into at every opportunity. The little lion cub is at the tender age where, most of all, he needs company. While we cannot replace his parents, we are ensuring that his expert human carers shower him with kindness and entertain him with toys.