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FOUR PAWS integrates video, picture app to tell rescue story



NOVEMBER 14 2015 BOSTON, MA. FOUR PAWS, the global animal protection organization that just saved five lions from a closed-down zoo in Romania, announced the successful first, in the field application of the smart phone application, Snapchat.


Last week, a new life started for five distressed lions from Romania. The animals had been left behind since the zoo had to close in 2013 after not meeting the criteria set forth by the EU Zoo Directive. Since then, FOUR PAWS has tried to find a solution and finally were able to transport all 5 lions to LIONSROCK, the FOUR PAWS big cat sanctuary in South Africa.


Not new to large animal transfers, FOUR PAWS is continuously pushing the boundaries of rescues while maintaining the highest regard for safety and overall health of the animal. “While the media usually loves to cover these kinds of stories, the ones with dramatic rescues and happy outcomes in sunny fields of South Africa, we wanted to give our supporters, and the public, a little more behind the scenes experience. Snapchat was a perfect platform for that,” explained Claire LaFrance, Head of Communications for FOUR PAWS’ Boston, Massachusetts office.


The transport to South Africa took place by road and air, overcoming a distance of about 8,000 miles. Short videos of veterinarians and FOUR PAWS staff lifting anesthetized lions into transport crates could be seen on the Snapchat channel “fourpawsint”. By October 16th, all big cats could successfully be released in their interim enclosures at LIONSROCK.  Again, Snapchat video shows the lions’ first timid steps into the South African climate, capturing their first experience on grass and in sunlight.


“If this is just another medium for us to speak out for the thousands of big cats languishing in captivity all over the world, then we will use it!” said Ms. LaFrance explaining the decision to take up the popular smart phone app. Perhaps not destined for celebrity, the five Romanian lions: Petrica, Lavinia, Lidia, Tarhon Big, Marin seem indifferent to their 15 minutes of fame and remain quite content with their new surroundings.


FOUR PAWS also plans to use Snapchat for the winter opening of their new Animal Assisted Therapy project with former stray dogs in Bucharest, an expansion of the already existing FOUR PAWS Dogs For People (DFP) project in Romania.


To find FOUR PAWS on Snapchat, search for “fourpawsint” and click the + button.