The ongoing uncertainty of Brexit is threatening the final chapter of a complex rescue and rehabilitation effort for two lions who were due to be re-homed here at the Isle of Wight Zoo early this year.

Previously forced to perform in a circus, the two brothers, Vigo and Kumba, are currently being held at Animal Advocacy and Protection’s (AAP) rescue centre in Alicante, Spain. But time is running out for them to reach us before import laws, uncertain due to Brexit could thwart plans.

“We are facing major issues with the logistics of bringing these two majestic animals to their new safe haven here at the Zoo and we’re extremely worried about the impact of Brexit or possibly no deal on Brexit”, said Veronica Chrisp, Chief Executive.

We had planned on building fit for purpose accommodation for the lions, but there is an enclosure that can be retrofitted in the short term and we have made the decision to bring the lions over sooner. We would really like some help in order to allow us to do this, so we have set up a JustGiving page.

Previously housed in a lorry, containing 5 big cats and travelling Europe with a circus Vigo and Kumba have had a rough start. But despite this they are gentle giants and we are already in love with them.

When Caz visited them late last year they were incredibly playful and very interested in people. We know we can give them the forever home they need and we are desperate to ensure that Brexit does not ruin this for them.

We will post some more pictures soon! and will keep you updated on our work with Primadomus in Spain to get them here.