Four lion cubs given as a gift to Turkey’s president from his Sudanese counterpart during his recent visit to Africa arrived in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on Jan. 11.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced the gift to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the latter’s official visit between Dec. 24 and 27.
Gaziantep Zoo, the biggest zoo in Turkey and the third largest in Europe, will be the cubs’ brand new home.
The cats will be officially presented to the media on Jan. 12 at the zoo.
Erdoğan had previously announced that three lion cubs were presented to him in Sudan as a gift to his grandchildren. However, his son-in-law and Economy Minister Berat Albayrak warned that they may be dangerous, prompting second thoughts.
“Two of the lion cubs are one year old. One of them is female and the other is male. The third one is eight months old. I wondered for a moment whether my grandchildren wanted them and asked Berat [Albayrak] to tell them about it. My grandson first said no but later started to change his mind. But Berat rightly then said this might be dangerous,” the president told reporters while returning from his three-day visit to Sudan, Chad and Tunisia.