The owner of Aquila, driven by a desire to share his love of the wild with Cape Town, set about searching for the perfect piece of land to re-introduce the big 5 to the Western Cape. He was fortunate enough to come across a nature reserve that would suit his purpose.
It already had various antelope species resident and now needed the presence of the Big 5 that had been shot out by hunters years ago. During the search for the closest species to the Cape Lion he came across an industry that shocked him to the core. The canned hunting industry: Aquila is passionately opposed to this practice and it has become one of the core values of the reserve to fight this practice wherever and whenever possible.
As a result of this, all the lions at Aquila have been rescued from this industry. The nature of the canned hunting practice requires that cubs are removed from their mothers at birth and then hand reared, once this hand rearing practice is started it is irreversible and this had to continue at Aquila.
As lions reached adolescence and they were able to feed themselves a separate reserve was created at Aquila. An entire mountain on Aquila has been set aside, this area is much larger than the required space set down by nature conservation.
The word soon got out that Aquila was the place to turn to if there was a need to rescue hurt, endangered and abused animals. It wasn’t long before another group of lions landed on Aquila’s doorstep, it was hoped that when they were weaned that they could be introduced to the existing pride in their reserve, this unfortunately could not happen. This negative has been turned into a positive and resulted in the development of A.R.C. (Aquila Rehabilitation Centre), a Section 21 company recognized by the “Campaign Against Canned Hunting”. Aquila has donated this piece of land where animals in distress are either rehabilitated and those that can never be released into the wild, get to live out the remainder of their natural lives in comfort with every care taken of them.