An animal welfare group in Argentina reached out to us to see if we could take in the last two remaining lions at the Mendoza Zoo, Salteña and Chupino. 

The 13 other lions had already died there.

Chupino had to take turns sharing the only outside lion area with another lioness named Salteña.  When she was outside, Chupino spent his time in a small, dark cage in the mountainside there.

Chupino had been born at the Mendoza Zoo over 20 years ago. But there are no records from that time period. He’s also missing his tail, but no one knows how that happened either.










It was a long journey from Argentina through customs in Miami and then the road trip to Minnesota. But each lion traveled very well during this epic 6,000 mile journey.

From the minute Chupino was unloaded into the temporary Quarantine habitat we’d set up for him, he was busy marking everything and rubbing against the tall pine trees. We discovered he loves playing with feeder balls and jolly balls. He had no problem going inside to his indoor, heated den area. We’re happy to see he’s a very confident lion.

We hear him often roaring to his neighbor Salteña.  We hope he’s saying to her, “We’re finally, finally home my friend.”

It would mean so much to Chupino to have you as a sponsor parent for him. The day of rescue is just the first day of what we hope is a long life ahead. Find out about our Sponsor-A-Wild-One program HERE.