Samaritan’s Purse Transports Lion and Tiger from Typhoon-Ravaged Saipan to Wildlife Sanctuary

December 5, 2018 • United States

At the request of federal officials, Samaritan’s Purse used its DC-8 aircraft to bring the two big cats to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Denver, Colorado.

The DC-8 prepares to transport the animals to the U.S.

The DC-8 prepares to transport the animals to the U.S.

In the aftermath of powerful Typhoon Yutu, Samaritan’s Purse has airlifted more than 80 tons of relief supplies to help more than 6,000 households on the Pacific islands of Saipan and Tinian.

Our DC-8 cargo plane has transported emergency shelter tarps, generators, solar lights, and water filtration units to families in desperate need after the devastating storm—which had the equivalent strength of a Category 5 hurricane.

Due to our work on Saipan, Samaritan’s Purse was in a unique position to help fulfill a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. officials. We were asked to transport a tiger and a lion to a sanctuary in Colorado because the badly damaged zoo in Saipan is no longer able to care for the animals.

Tasha the tiger

Tasha the tiger

We accommodated this need by bringing the animals to their new home aboard our DC-8 on an empty backhaul flight after delivering a third planeload of emergency relief supplies for Typhoon Yutu victims.

Our DC-8 landed Dec. 5 in Denver. The cats were quickly transported to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.

The male African lion named Lambert and the Siberian tiger named Tasha are reported to be about 60 percent underweight. The Saipan zoo was significantly damaged by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015 and closed to the public. A local family who owned the zoo has been caring for these animals, but they were running out of necessary resources.

Tigers in America and a team from The Wild Animal Sanctuary oversaw the safe transport of Lambert and Tasha aboard the DC-8.

Lambert and Tasha will be in a recovery area in order to get healthy and used to their new environment before being released in the upcoming weeks.

Lambert (pictured) and Tasha are now in Colorado and will spend a few weeks in a recovery area to get stronger and become used to their new environment. Eventually, they will be released into large outside enclosures.