How Qatar Airways Helped To Relocate ‘The World’s Loneliest Lion’

Ruben the Lion is now safely in South Africa following years spent in an abandoned Armeian zoo.

  •  The world’s loneliest lion named Ruben, has been freed from isolation in an abandoned zoo in Armenia thanks to the help of Qatar Airways Cargo.
  •  With assistance from wildlife charity ADI, the lion has been transported to a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa to begin his rehabilitation.
  •  Qatar Airways Cargo’s commitment to wildlife preservation and its ‘WeQare’ initiative played a crucial role in organizing Ruben’s rescue and ensuring his future well-being.

A lion that had been languishing in an abandoned zoo in Armenia for five years has finally found freedom thanks to the support of Qatar Airways Cargo.

Ruben returns to Africa

A lion said to be the world’s loneliest has finally returned to freedom after five years of languishing in isolation in an abandoned Armenian zoo. With assistance from an international wildlife charity, Animals Defenders International (ADI), along with support from Qatar Airways Cargo, the lion named Ruben has been flown to a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa to begin his rehabilitation.

Ruben, who was left abandoned when a private zoo closed down in Armenia, had endured living in a small concrete cell for five years, enjoying no contact with other lions. Although ADI had plans in place to rescue Ruben and transport him to a more appropriate setting in which to live, the charity was unable to find a suitable flight for him out of Armenia.

That’s when Qatar Airways Cargo stepped in to save the day and keep Ruben’s hopes for a happier existence alive. The carrier organized the 5,200-mile (8,320 km) journey to collect 15-year-old Ruben and transport the four-legged mammals to ADI’s own wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.

Now firmly ensconced in his new home, Ruben is reportedly re-discovering his voice and finding his confidence as he roams the ADI sanctuary. Despite facing various physical challenges resulting from years of neglect and being held in captivity, Ruben’s keepers remain hopeful that the lion will make a remarkable recovery in time.

Speaking about the unusual rescue mission to save “the world’s loneliest lion,” Elisabeth Oudkerk, SVP of Cargo Sales & Network Planning at Qatar Airways Cargo.

Ruben is reportedly doing well

Since being flown to South Africa, Ruben seems to have taken to his new surroundings and is reportedly beginning to find his feet in his new home.

Delighted to have pulled off such an audacious plan to remove Ruben from his concrete cell and transport him to a new environment, Jan Creamer, President of Animals Defenders International.

An airline committed to wildlife preservation

Thanks to the Qatar Airways Cargo ‘WeQare’ sustainability program, Ruben was transported to his new home free of charge. The program consists of a series of focus chapters based on four core pillars of priority – environment, society, economy, and culture.

According to the airline, the program exists as “a conscious endeavor to create a more positive impact on the industry and the world.” The airline also runs an associated program entitled ‘Rewild the Planet.’ This program encourages the preservation of ecological balance by offering free transport to organizations involved in returning wild animals to their natural habitat.

These two programs combined led to Qatar Airways Cargo stepping in to save Ruben and all those who care for him hope for more from the future.

By Mian saeed ahmed khan