Due to the predicted heat for the coming days, the welfare of the animals is of course extra thought.
If the temperatures are too high, it is not responsible to continue the hunting sessions.
The hatches to the inner quarters are also opened, which means that the animals are less visible.

Werkzaamheden dak Stichting Leeuw

3 juli 2022
In verband met het plaatsen van zonnepanelen op het dak van Stichting Leeuw zijn er maandag 4 juli t/m woensdagochtend 6 juli geen dieren in de binnenhal en geen jaagsessies. Ook zijn er minder dieren in hun buitenverblijf bij Stichting Leeuw om stress te voorkomen.
Excuses voor het ongemak.

Rescue big cats Ukraine

18 March 2022

Yesterday morning our drivers Piet and Peter took off to collect four big cats on the Polish-Ukrainian border. Stichting Leeuw received a distress call and we will do everything in our power to shelter these animals in Anna Paulowna. The sanctuary is actually full to the brim, and is waiting for the necessary papers to relocate Simba, Stella, Cesar and Elsa to South Africa. This will free up space for the new cats in need. There will be a temporary solution until that time.
Stichting Leeuw will shelter 2 male lions (3.5 and 1.5 years old), a tiger male (6 months old) and a tigress (5 years old). The animals are severely traumatized. The tigress apparently is in very bad shape, as a result of starvation and illness.

We’re open from 9.30 am to 5 pm

Stichting leeuw is open for visitors.
There will be hunting sessions, but not at fixed times, to prevent crowds on the balcony.

End January/beginning February we will start building work on new educational areas and het building entrance. From time to time we will have to close of the Stichting Leeuw building, or parts of it.
Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Of course, you can see the big cats through the peeping holes in the natural fence.

For more information on entry and entry tickets, please see

Muba out of quarantine

Last week, Muba was released from quarantine and moved to her indoor enclosure at Stichting Leeuw.
Muba is doing well, but she still has some difficulties adjusting to all the new noises, smells and surroundings. She won’t be able to go into her outdoor enclosure until she is more comfortable here, so we’re not yet able to tell you when she’ll be going outside.
Kan een afbeelding zijn van katachtige


In the night of 22 to 23 September white tiger Muba arrived in our quarantine facility. The journey with Piet and Peter went well. Muba is quite anxious, but is calmly exploring the enclosures.
Like Luna and Stella, Muba comes from Slovakia, where she lived since she was a cub. She is now 4 years old. Like the lionesses, she will remain in quarantine for 30 days, to give her some rest and to rule out any diseases or illnesses. To our naked eye she seems healthy. She is a bit cross-eyed, which is common amongst white tigers.
The white tiger is not a species, but a mutation. They do not occur in the wild. As the very light colour is obtained by excessive breeding and inbreeding, many white tigers have clinical deviations.
Muba can be adopted on our website. By adopting her, you do not only support Muba, but also the continuation of Stichting Leeuw!

Bakari, Sarabi and Jessy on South African soil

26 augustus 2021

Na een lange reis landden Bakari, Jessy en Sarabi gisteravond in zeer goede conditie op Zuid-Afrikaanse bodem.
Het papierwerk werd allemaal goedgekeurd bij de Cargo en vlak daarna konden de transportkisten op de trailer gezet worden voor het vervolg van hun reis.
De trip naar The Lions Foundation op Schrikkloof Nature Reserve duurde nog ongeveer 2,5 uur.
Daar aangekomen was het midden in de nacht en is er te weinig licht om ze al uit te laden.

Bakari Jessy en Sarabi zijn vanmorgen bij het eerste ochtend licht uit hun transport kisten gelaten. Het gaat erg goed met ze en hebben ondertussen goed gegeten & gedronken en voelen zich al op hun gemak. Ze zitten nu nog even apart, maar worden snel herenigd.

We willen Zoologistics, het team van The Lions Foundation, Aize en Joyce ontzettend bedanken voor de fantastische zorg gedurende deze lange reis.


Jessy (vooraan) en Sarabi

Relocation 3 circus lions to The Lions Foundation in South Africa

Anna Paulowna 25 August 2021 – Today, Stichting Leeuw is moving 3 former circus lions to a nature reserve in South Africa. This pride, consisting of Bakari, Jessy and Sarabi, arrived at the foundation in 2014, from a German circus. In South Africa these lions can enjoy a wonderful life in a big enclosure. After years of rehabilitation in the Dutch town Anna Paulowna, they are ready for their last move to The Lions Foundation on nature reserve Schrikkloof.

The Bakari pride

In 2014 a group of 4 lions arrived at Stichting Leeuw. Male lion Bakari, born in 2003, and lionesses Jessy, Sarabi and Dumi, born in 2008 and 2004, lived as a group in a German circus, where they performed in a show. Many European countries have now banned keeping wild animals in circuses and shows. This German circus therefore decided to find a good home for their animals, and at Stichting Leeuw the small pride would be allowed to stay together. Bakari has a striking feature: he has no manes. After castration a lions will lose its manes, and if the lion is castrated at a young age they won’t grow at all. However, even without manes Bakari is proud leader of his pride. Sadly, lioness Dumi did not live to experience semi freedom in South Africa. She suffered from a heart infection and passed away earlier this year. The 3 lions left very early today and will fly to Johannesburg in a KLM plane. From there the lions will be transported to Private Nature Reserve Schrikkloof and be set free in an enclosed part of the reserve, at The Lions Foundation.

Stichting Leeuw

Stichting Leeuw is a sanctuary for big cats. The foundation shelters lions, tigers, leopards and other felines. These animals were privately owned, confiscated or kept in a circus. The shelter is temporary; at Stichting Leeuw the animals are rehabilitated and prepared for relocation to the semi-wild. Stichting Leeuw is situated on Landgoed Hoenderdaell in Anna Paulowna in Holland and received the first big cats in 2012. 14 lions were moved to South Africa since then. The centre has developed a hunting simulator, unique in the world. In the wild big cats hunt to survive. Thanks to the hunting simulator at Stichting Leeuw, the cats are able to release their energy and trigger their instincts, improving their physical and mental condition. The height and speed of the simulator is flexible, so that the hunting sessions are always a challenge for these intelligent predators. Jessy in particular was an extremely good huntress.



Schrikkloof is a 700-ha nature reserve, 2 hours drive from Johannesburg airport. The lions live on no less than 1.5 ha African savannah and are well taken care of by the keepers at The Lions Foundation, which is part of Stichting Leeuw. The animals arriving at Stichting Leeuw were born in captivity and have been dependent on humans for so long, that they would not survive in the wild. They cannot handle natural enemies and have never had to hunt for food. Stichting Leeuw founded The Lions Foundation to relocate these animals, often traumatized, to an enclosed area of natural habitat, where they can be fed and monitored and can enjoy the rest of their lives in peace and quiet.



Taking care of a big cat is expensive: about 1000 euro per month on care and food. That is why people and companies can donate or symbolically adopt a big cat. Stichting Leeuw also offers workshops; participants learn all about the work of Stichting Leeuw, can see the animals up close and get a peek behind the scenes.
With the 3 lions leaving today, space is freed up to shelter other big cats in need. Earlier this month Stichting Leeuw rescued 2 lionesses from a resort in Slovakia. There are still more animals there that need a safe haven. If you would like to support the work of Stichting Leeuw, please visit

This relocation was made possible by our loyal donors/adoptive parents, and PRD Business Intelligence and Stichting Bouwstenen voor Dierenwelzijn.

The lions entered their transport crates calmly, without the need for sedation

Bakari, Sarabi and Jessy in the big hall at Stichting Leeuw

Relocation lions to The Lions Foundation

In South Africa, despite the Covid crisis, things have not been quiet lately.
And now we can share great news: all our animals have been moved to our own rescue centre: The Lions Foundation at Schrikkloof Private Nature Reserve. All animals are in good shape and are getting used to their new enclosures and keepers. The animals will stay in separated areas first and will be moved to their large enclosures after they’ve settled in.
The two brothers, Omar and Bruno, will get to know their new neighbours and might be matched with some of them in the future.
Mahli had been feeling out of place in Norah and Ziera’s group, so she is now living next to Omar. Norah and Ziera have become Bruno’s neighbours. Over the next weeks, we will see whether the animals can get used to each other and whether they might even approach each other.
Before the big move, Masrya was admitted to Dr. Peter Caldwell’s clinic, as he is our resident vet. Masrya was feeling unwell and had to be examined. The results showed that Masrya’s kidneys weren’t working properly, so she was treated and given medication, and now that she is doing better she is back together with Nero.
She had lost weight because she hadn’t been eating properly, but recently she has started eating more and we are hopeful she will recover.
We would like to thank Emoya for their cooperation and their care for our animals these past years.
We are very proud of our own amazing location and our South African colleagues.
The coming months will see work starting on the enclosure for the four lions: Bakari, Jessy, Sarabi and Dumi. They will be the next animals to move to this wonderful place.
Soon, several Stichting Leeuw employees will be visiting the new site and we will be able to give you updates more frequently.

Please see for more information.
Please follow The Lions Foundation and Schrikkloof Private Nature Reserve on Facebook.

Through the eyes of the keepers (blog 16)

Sandra Kuijmans

11 September 2020,


Downstairs at Stichting Leeuw, around the big hall, there are curtains we can close. They are made of sturdy materials, which are urine-resistant (since our animals spray a lot) and can easily be cleaned. These curtains make the daily activities much easier. All inside enclosures are located around the big hall. Thanks to the curtains we can have animals in their inside enclosures and at the same time have animals in the big hall. Without curtains the animals will want to fight each other. They can’t reach each other of course, as there is fencing and a hallway between them, but they might hurt themselves trying. Also, it would give them a lot of stress, which is not good for their well-being. Before we had these curtains, we had to choose: animals in the big hall and the rest outside or animals inside and the big hall empty. Thankfully this is all in the past. We can have things happening in the big hall and at the same time clean outside enclosures or feed animals inside. We can also close animals that don’t want to go outside, off from the big hall. So, if you see curtains closed, it means that there are animals behind them in the inside enclosures, for whatever reason.

Treating and preventing worm infections is something we pay a lot of attention to. This is important when you have so many animals close together. Our colleague Daphne regularly examines scat, so that we can detect new infections quickly. We also deworm all animals twice a year and make sure we disinfect all our cleaning equipment daily. Maybe you’re thinking why don’t you deworm more regularly so you don’t have to do the scat examinations? We prefer not to, for two reasons. The first is that we try to do everything in the most natural way possible, so we don’t want to give unnecessary medication. This makes scat examinations very important. The second reason is that if you use a certain deworming medicine too often, there’s a chance that the parasites gradually become resistant to it. If that happens the medicine becomes useless and you have to find another one. For dogs and cats this is not a problem, as they need only small doses, but for tigers and lions it’s a whole other story. We use a liquid medicine for our animals, which we inject into the food (meat or goose). This way we can control the dose and can be sure the animals eat it.

How are things with



Akilla is quite shy. For a long time, she would hide in a corner of her inside or outside enclosure as soon as she saw someone she didn’t know. She would only relax, play and talk in the company of the keepers. Now, it’s quite different! She likes going outside and comes running if we call her in. She talks a lot, also to people she doesn’t see often, like the volunteers. She loves to play with everything that moves. When we arrive with the food cart, she will be waiting at the hatch. She eats anything, but prefers beef, rabbit and poultry.

Fred and Ginger



A couple which can’t live without, but sometimes also not with each other. The size of their enclosure doesn’t help with the latter. Fred can be quite dominant, and Ginger has to become invisible if that happens. Usually this quarrel is about a bit of leftover food or a lost bone. They each have their own favourite spot in their outside enclosure, but they always keep a close eye on each other. Both want to be the first inside when it’s feeding time. They’re not choosy when it comes to food, they both will eat anything, but Fred tops everything. He’s a real greedy guts and leaves nothing but some tiny pieces of bone. If fed whole animals he will leave nothing, except the feathers of geese. At the moment their new enclosure is being built, which is a lot bigger than their current one. It will be not only big, but also high. Our colleague Jurjen has been very busy decorating their new home, with climbing options, a pond and greenery. It’s going to be stunning!

Sya and Chen



Sisters Sya and Chen lead a quiet life. They’re definitely a duo, but don’t spend much time together. They just live together, without fights. They keep an eye on one another and regularly pay each other a visit in one of their cabins. They do not like crowds and visits. They like to lie high up so that they can watch everything. When it’s feeding time, they have a set routine. Sya comes inside first through one hatch. Then Chen enters through the other hatch. Always the same. These ladies aren’t particularly choosy either. They eat it all, from chicken necks to tripe and from rabbit to beef.

Vincent and Noelle

Noëlle and Vincent

A love story. These two have been inseparable since they were matched. They follow each other everywhere and always sleep close together in one of their cabins. Vincent is always the bellwether. Curious as he is, he always comes racing in when the hatch opens. Noelle follows a bit later and needs to know if it’s worth the trouble. Vincent eats everything and sometimes likes to play with his food first. Noelle is a bit choosier and is not always hungry. She also eats more slowly than Vincent, which is not hard, as he eats as if his life depended on it! He comes running inside so fast that he brakes against the fence with a sliding. And no, that doesn’t make him unlearn this habit.