Four lions have arrived at their new home in South Africa after being rescued from deplorable conditions in Ukraine.

One male and three female lions have been relocated to Port Elizabeth after being rescued from a circus and a private owner.

Nathan, Charlie, Luca and Kai have been released at the Kragga Kamma Game Park. Several organisations donated funds for the relocating.

Director of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation, Lionel de Lange was responsible for rescuing the lions.

He says: “I knew that I couldn’t leave these lions behind. They were living in 35 square metres of concrete and steel. Their cage was actually welded shut so you couldn’t open or close or get in to clean them. So they were living in their own faeces and urine and leftover food and bones.”

He continues: “The three lionesses were born into captivity in a circus and we heard about Nathan and we rushed to try and get him off this guy. Circuses most definitely should be closed down there’s no educational value to seeing a bear dancing or a lion jumping through hoops.”

He says the lions will spend the rest of their lives at the game park.

“They will never be able to be released back in the wild and you don’t wanna do that in South Africa, they gonna get hunted,” says de Lange.