Work on the new lion enclosure at Zoologico El Arca. (Submitted)

Helping lions in Ecuador

Castlegar man helping to build a new home for lions at animal rescue centre.

It’s not every day that someone from Castlegar ends up in Ecuador, and it’s even rarer still that someone ends up in Ecuador helping lions.

But that is Steven Leffelaar’s reality. The recent Selkirk College environmental technology graduate made his last stop travelling through Latin America at an animal rescue centre in Tena, Ecuador.

The centre — Zoologico El Arca — is in the midst of the Amazonian jungle but all sorts of animals end up there, including a pair of African lions rescued from a circus about eight years ago. Animals that remain at the centre as permanent residents were either injured or raised in captivity and couldn’t survive in the wild.

The lion enclosure was small, just 12 meters by 12 meters, roofed with no vegetation and needed to be expanded, but money for the centre is tight and government help is not available. So Lefelaar decided to pitch in and help build a new enclosure.

The new exhibit is much larger than the old one — 30 meters by 18 meters — with trees and other vegetation.

The expansion is coming just in time as the centre has now accepted two lion cubs that were going to be euthanized if new homes were not found by the end of the year.

The new exhibit will also allow two pumas to move into the old lion enclosure which is larger than their current space.

The project still needs more funds. A Go Fund Me page has been set up under El Arca refuge, lion cage expansion.

 

The new lion cubs at Zoologico El Arca. (Submitted)

Work on the new lion enclosure at Zoologico El Arca. (Submitted)

Work on the new lion enclosure at Zoologico El Arca. (Submitted)

Work on the new lion enclosure at Zoologico El Arca. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Castlegar water rates set to rise for commercial, industrial users; no change for single-family homes

Multi-family residences are also likely to see a price hike in 2019

Thousands donated to Castlegar health centre campaign

Money will go to purchasing new equipment

Climbing group launches fundraiser for Castlegar cliffs

TAWKROC wants to raise $60,000 to purchase the property from the owners

Wanted man captured by Trail RCMP

Ishmani Baker was arrested at a rural property on Columbia Gardens Road

Accident causes headaches for Castlegar commuters

Traffic backed up at intersection with Highway 3

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read