After years of living in cramped, tiny cages and forced to perform in circuses, these recently rescued lions will be able to explore freedom in their native Africa.
After years of living in tiny, cramped cages and forced to perform in South American circuses, thirty-three lions have finally been rescued by the Animal Defenders International (ADI) and will soon venture back to their African homeland.
While in captivity, the beautiful lion suffered many forms of mistreatment and abuse. One has lost an eye, another is nearly blind, and many have smashed and broken teeth due to circus life. Thankfully their happy ending is very near.
The thirty-three lions were rescued from ten different circuses in both Peru and Colombia. They will soon travel to their native Africa in the biggest ever airlift of its kind. There, they will experience freedom at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. They are intended to be transported to the reserve in October.
The positive news is a result of ADI’s passionate work with the Governments of Peru and Colombia to eliminate the use of wild animals in circuses. As Ecorazzi reports, ADI’s work has been instrumental in the legislation banning animal acts there.
Commented Jan Creamer, ADI’s President who is also leading the rescue mission in Peru:
“We are delighted that these lions who have suffered so much will be going home to Africa where they belong. The climate and environment are perfect for them. When we visited Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary we knew this is a dream come true for ADI and, more importantly, the lions.”
ADI spent one year working with the Peru Government SERFOR and ATFFS wildlife departments, as well as the country’s police, to legally raid circuses all over the country. Not only did workers of the organization face violent confrontations in their successful quest to rescue over 90 animals, they traveled thousands of miles, traversing the Andes with the lions.
The ex-circus lions, 9 from Colombia and 24 from Peru, will soon have their dream ending when they are airlifted back to Africa and allowed to explore what it means to truly be free.
Savannah Heuser, founder of Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary says:
“Mahatma Gandhi once said; ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ The change that is being offered to these 33 lions will change their entire world.
Their lives were forcibly wasted away in horrific tiny cages, the doing of mindless circus acts, I cannot start to comprehend the endless days suffering that these animals had to endure. They have a lot of lost time to make up for. They will live out the rest of their lives in a natural habitat, the closest they can ever come to freedom.”
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