33 circus lions return home to Africa after a life of misery

Thirty-three former circus lions feel the African sun on their backs and the grass under their feet after a life of misery and abuse in traveling circuses in Peru and Colombia. The lions made the incredible journey back to their birthplace after a Herculean rescue effort by Animal Defenders International (ADI).

Tim Phillips, co-founder of Animal Defenders International, said rescuers face incredible challenges in finding and rescuing lions from illegal circuses in Peru and Colombia.

Circus animals are banned in countries, but many traveling circuses operate in remote areas and moved underground after the laws came into effect. ADI teams worked with government authorities to find and seize the animals, natureknows.org writes.

Several times, they were accompanied by SWAT teams and riot police in order to secure and save the animals. They then had to bring the lions back from remote areas of the Andes and bring them back to their rescue centers.

It was an effort that took 18 months to accomplish! Of the 100 animals rescued, 33 were lions. These majestic felines have endured a lifetime of suffering, confined to tiny cages, abused and mutilated.

Arrangements have been made to fly them back to their homeland: Africa! Unfortunately, lions will never be able to survive alone because of their physical condition. Many had their claws torn off and their teeth broken. «They can’t go back to nature, but they can go home,» Tim said in an interview.

Lions will live the rest of their days in peace and freedom at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Vaalwater, South Africa.

«African sun, African night sky, African bush and sounds, clouds, summer thunderstorms, large enclosures in a natural setting where they can remember who they are,» Savannah Heuser, founder of Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, said in a statement.

Tim said bringing the old beaten lions back to Africa was one of his proudest moments. Wait until you hear the lions roar behind him at 2:56 in the video below. It’s like they know they’re back home!

Voici une autre vidéo d’actualité de ce sauvetage incroyable opération avec les lions faisant leurs premiers pas dehors dans leur nouvelle maison.

Veuillez partager ceci sauvetage incroyable avec votre famille et vos amis !

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