2 lions from Mideast war zones head to South African refuge

Two lions rescued from neglected zoos in war zones in Iraq and Syria have been transported to South Africa to recover from physical and psychological trauma at a big cat sanctuary.

Fiona Miles with international animal welfare group Four Paws says the male lions have arrived in Johannesburg on a Qatar Airways flight after leaving an animal refuge in Jordan on Sunday.

The lions arrived emaciated, dehydrated and psychologically scarred in Jordan last year.

Now 4-year-old Simba and 2-year-old Saeed are headed to the Lionsrock facility near the town of Bethlehem.

Some of the 80 lions at the facility came from a German circus and zoos in France, Romania and Congo. Others are from South African captive-bred lion operations that often earmark the predators for "trophy" killings by customers.