From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2006:
BUCHAREST, CAPE TOWN–Romania is not
usually regarded as a lion-exporting nation,
South Africa is rarely if ever thought of as a
lion importer, and the animal advocacy groups
Born Free Foundation and Vier Pfoten are unlikely
canned hunt suppliers, but recent lion rescues
have taken some very strange twists.
First, in mid-2004 a young African lion
named Lutu was “found starving to death in a
squalid cage in Romania,” according to Mark
Townsend of the London Observer. Actress Amanda
Holden raised $250,000 to enable the Born Free
Foundation to send Lutu to the Shamwari private
wildlife viewing reserve in South Africa.
Instead, in August 2004, days before Lutu was
to be moved, he disappeared.
“All that is currently undisputed
regarding the fate of Lutu,” Townsend wrote two
months later, “is that his owner broke an
agreement with the Born Free Foundation by
selling Lutu to a mystery buyer for an unknown