Ifaw and Kuvo are available for sponsorship in our Adopt-an-Animal program.
IFAW AND KUVO ARRIVED AT SAFE HAVEN IN OCTOBER 2010, AS PART OF OUR LARGEST RESCUE TO DATE.
Safe Haven's first lions, Kuvo (left) and Ifaw (right), arrived on October 16, 2010. They were transferred from the Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in San Antonio, TX. They were 10 years old at the time of rescue. Kuvo passed away in 2014. We were honored to give him a safe and loving home for the last four years of his life.
Ifaw and Kuvo had a long, difficult history before coming to Safe Haven. Kuvo was the only lion in a group of tigers, leopards, and cougars at a roadside exhibit in South Dakota. The animals were left to die when the exhibit could no longer support itself. WAO stepped in and saved Kuvo's life.
Ifaw was originally rescued from a roadside exhibit in Iowa in 2001. In a heroic effort coordinated by The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota, two lions and three tigers were removed from the most deplorable conditions of abuse and neglect that the rescuers had ever seen. At that time, Ifaw was placed at WAO, where he and Kuvo became fast friends.
WAO eventually fell on hard times. Citing overpopulation, inadequate housing and lack of funding, the board of directors voted on August 31, 2010 to close the facility and find placement for the remaining animals. They had already given up about 100 of their 400 animals, which included tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, wolf hybrids, and 200 primates.
After arranging to accept Ifaw and Kuvo, Safe Haven also agreed to accept Lulu, a 14-year-old Siberian tiger. The Wildcat Sanctuary accepted three bobcats and nine big cats. Wildcat Haven accepted two tigers and several smaller cats. Safe Haven worked with The Wildcat Sanctuary and Wildcat Haven to coordinate the preparations and transportation for all of the new placements.
Many thanks to dedicated animal rescuers Jeanette Ferro and Kristina Brunner, who donated three BoomerBalls to Kovu, Ifaw and Lulu. They made this generous and heartfelt gift in honor and in memory of all the WAO animals, past and present.
Above right: Kuvo—enrichment activity with mailing tube. Below: Kuvo with pumpkin; Ifaw with his BoomerBall.