33 rescue lions are finally feeling the African soil beneath their toes after a lifetime of misery, trapped as circus lions in Peru and Columbia. For the first time in their lives they will feel the sun on their backs and feel truly free.
Circus animals are banned in most countries, but some travelling circuses manage to avoid getting caught as they operate in remote areas. But thanks to the Animal Defenders International (ADI) they work with government authorities to find and rescue the animals.
It’s not easy to seize the abused animals so the rescuers are often accompanied by SWAT teams and riot police in order to keep everyone involved safe. But thanks to the ADI teams, the majestic creatures were rescued and made the long journey back to their true home of Africa.
It took 18 months for the team to accomplish their goal of rescuing the animals, (of which out of 100 animals, 33 were lions). The poor animals have endured a lifetime of suffering as they were confined to small cages and abused. But thanks to the ADI team, the proud creatures can finally live the kind of lives they were always destined for.
Unfortunately, the lions won’t be able to survive in the wild due to their deteriorated physical condition. Many had their claws removed and their teeth smashed by the circus so they wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves in the wild. Instead they have been transported to remote areas of the Andes where they roam in large rescue centres.
The rescued lions will now live out their days in peace at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Vaalwater, South Africa. The beautiful animals don’t have to worry about being abused any longer.
They can’t go back to the wild but they can go back home. African sun, African night skies, African bush and sounds, clouds, summer thunderstorms, large enclosures in a natural setting where they can remember who they are.
For the ADI rescuers, their months of effort have paid off and they can sleep easier knowing that they have managed to make a difference in so many animal’s lives. The lions have finally come home!