Sofia and her mate Kimba were born in South Africa in 2005 and then imported to the Buenos Aires Zoo in Argentina in 2008. Years later, they had a son named Gino. He survived, though a lion cub she gave birth to at another time, sadly didn’t.

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. 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 Sofia 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.

Sofia and the others made the 6,000 mile journey and arrived safely. Sofia had been known as a “cranky” and very aggressive eater. The Argentina caretakers who accompanied her were brought to tears when they were able to feed her at The Wildcat Sanctuary, and she took her food so calmly.

With so much nature around her, so much space to enjoy, she no longer had to act aggressively to protect the little territory she’d had before. Her personality changed drastically.

This literally was a life-changing journey for Sofia.

If you’d like to be part of this special girl’s life by being her sponsor parent, it would help so much! The day of rescue is only day one of a long life ahead of care and expenses. Find out how to Sponsor-A-Wild-One HERE.