Unfortunately Thirty-three lions live a life of torture and abuse in traveling circuses in Peru and Colombia. The lions made the incredible journey back to their birthplace after the rescue by Animal Defenders International (ADI). Tim Phillips is the co-founder of Animal Defenders International. He said: ,,Rescuers faced incredible challenges. Tracking down and rescuing the lions from illegal circuses in Peru and Colombia is their first priority.”
In countries it is forbidden to use animals in the circus. Neverless many traveling circuses operate in remote areas. They went underground since the legislation came into force. ,,ADI teams worked with authorities to find and seize the animals.” writes natureknows.org. They often go along with a special team and police to secure and rescue the animals. They then transport the lions from remote areas in the Andes to their recovery place.
It was an effort that lasted in total 18 months. Of the 100 animals rescued, 33 were lions. These majestic felines had suffered all their lives. They confined in small cages, got abused and maimed. They made arrangements to fly them back to their homeland, Africa. The lions will never be able to survive on their own because of their physical condition. Many had their claws removed and teeth knocked out. Tim reported: ,,They can’t return to the wild, but they can come home.”
The lions will spend the rest of their days in peace and freedom at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Vaalwater, South Africa. At home they have the generous sun, beautiful night skies, bushes, sounds, clouds, summer thunderstorms and large enclosures. Above all the lions can enjoy the natural environment where they remember who they are.” said Savannah Heuser. She is the founder of Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary. Tim said one of his proudest moments was bringing the old and sick lions back to Africa.
A beautiful story: 33 rescued circus lions take first step in South African sanctuary