Wolseley helps transport ‘Death Row’ lions to safety

Published:  11 February, 2010

ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA: Midlands-based Wolseley has helped save the lives of 13 lions which were on death row at a Romanian zoo.

In what’s described as the world’s biggest ever lion rescue, the neglected pride is being flown to the UK on Thursday 11th February after the Yorkshire Wildlife Park learnt of their plight.

The animals, which were being kept in appallingly cramped conditions, will arrive at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster at 1030am and will then be transported to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, where bosses launched a £150,000 appeal to save the lions last year.

Wolseley, the world’s number one distributor of heating and plumbing products and a leading supplier of building materials, is loaning a tractor unit which will pull a 22-tonnes elephant transporter in order to safely move the pride from the airport to the park.

Jim Tullie is a Wolseley Distribution Centre manager from Melmerby, near Ripon; “We are delighted to be part of the operation to bring these animals to a better environment in the UK. Moving 13 lions from Romania to the UK is no mean feat and Wolseley is pleased to offer the DAF tractor unit to ensure the pride gets safely to its new state-of-the-art lion house, set in seven acres at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park.”

Lee Patterson, who works at Wolseley’s Marston Gate distribution centre in Bedfordshire, is driving the truck. An animal lover, he lives by Woburn Safari Park and has previously helped transport animals between UK zoos.

He said: “There are more than 100 people involved in moving these animals and I am very proud to be playing my part in the operation. I helped move some elephants out of London Zoo a few years ago, but lions are a first for me.”

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