Gino’s parents, Sofia and Kimba, had been imported from South Africa to the Buenos Aires Zoo in 2008. In 2015, Gino was born there at the zoo.

Now that the Buenos Aires Zoo has shifted its focus from being a government-funded zoo to a compassionate eco-park, that meant many of their animals would be relocated.

We’ve been working with them for almost two years on this possible relocation of Gino and his parents Kimba and Sofia. Zoo staff flew to the United States to look at many possible sanctuaries for their lions. After visiting The Wildcat Sanctuary, they decided it would be the best place for their lions to live out their lives, wild at heart.

Arranging transport for Gino and four other lions was a monumental undertaking. It’s never easy coordinating international rescues. There are so many authorities, agencies, and entities involved, all speaking a different language.


We’d expected Gino to be the most active of all the lions since he was so young. Nothing could be further from the truth though. He was the last one who decided to finally exit his transport crate into his new habitat. He’s slowly gaining confidence and learning that this whole new world is a pretty good place after all.

Gino has congenital hypothyroidism which accounts for his shorter stature. He’ll be on lifelong medication for this condition. We couldn’t be happier knowing that the rest of his life will be filled with compassion and love, making that 6,000 journey totally worth it.

It would mean so much to have you as Gino’s sponsor parent! The day of rescue is only day one of a lifetime of expensive care. You can find out how easy it is to sponsor one of our cats HERE.