Back to the origins

Stichting Leeuw strives to return the rescued animals, if at all possible, to their natural habitats. Because all animals at the foundation were kept in captivity their whole lives, they cannot survive in the wild. They are not used to natural enemies and have never had to hunt for their own food. It is possible, however, to relocate the animals to an enclosed natural reserve in their land of origin, where they can be closely observed.

Stichting Leeuw has established partnerships with two rescue organisations, The Lions Foundation and WFFT, where the sheltered animals will go as soon as they are strong enough to live in their natural surroundings.

The Lions Foundation, South Africa DSC7411Nero

The Lions Foundation is our own sanctuary for lions in South Africa, where already 13 of the Stichting Leeuw lions have found a permanent home. The sanctuary is situated on Schrikkloof Nature Reserve. The relocated lions live on a fenced area of natural habitat of about 1.5 hectares per animal or small pride. When they arrive, they start out in a smaller outside enclosure and a small inside enclosure, so that they can be observed, get used to their new surroundings and keepers, who also feed them.

In May 2015 Masrya and Nero were the first lions to move from Stichting Leeuw to South Africa, followed in May 2016 by Asali, Nala and Tristan. In 2017, Bruno and Omar followed. In 2018, the lionesses Ziera, Mahli and Nora were relocated. These lionesses never actually lived at Stichting Leeuw, but moved straight on to South-Africa after a short quarantine period on Landgoed Hoenderdaell. In 2019 Hugo and Ambra and Simba & Isolde were relocated.

Did you know…
…that fencing a piece of land within the reserve for two lions costs € 20,000? 

Help the lions return to their land of origin, by becoming a donor.

Wildlife Friends Foundation, Thailand

De Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) is the biggest rescue facility for wild animals in South East Asia. Stichting Leeuw has established a partnership with this organisation, to rehabilitate Bengal tigers to their natural habitat. WFFT owns a big piece of jungle, where tigers that are young and strong enough are given their own enclosed piece of nature, where they can live freely.

When the paperwork in Thailand is approved, the first tigers will move from Stichting Leeuw to this rescue facility in Thailand.

Did you know…
…that a transport cage for a tiger costs €2,000? The flight to Thailand costs another €2,500.

Will you help return more tigers to the wild?

Siberia project, Russia

Some of our siberian tigers are nominated to be moved to an enclosed nature reserve in Russia, where hopefully they will have cubs. In this reserve they will not be fed pieces of meat, but will have to hunt for hares and deer. Cubs raised by hunting parents can be released into the wilderness after two years.

Read more about this project

Hands on help in Africa or Thailand

Want to know more about doing volunteer work at The Lions Foundation or Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand?
Visit or for more information and their story.