Animal Welfare Groups Rescue 33 Circus Lions

Peru Lion being loaded onto truck
Peru Lion being loaded onto truck

Preparations are underway for what will be a historic animal rescue when 33 circus Lions collected by a British animal welfare group known as ADI, and an American wildlife rescue organization known as The Wild Animal Sanctuary, are relocated from Peru to a new home in the United States.

The Lions that lived their entire lives in tiny cages on the backs of dilapidated circus trucks and in run-down zoos will be moving to a huge new habitat of 100+ acres at The Wild Animal Sanctuary near Denver, Colorado, where construction is rapidly progressing on the new facilities which are being built by the non-profit Sanctuary.

After their arrival in Denver sometime during the first week of April 2015, and becoming rehabilitated, the animals will be released into huge enclosures with lakes and rolling grassland – not unlike their natural habitat.

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Meanwhile, work is being done to secure an aircraft large enough to take all of the animals to America. It is stated to be the biggest airlift of its kind, far surpassing a similar rescue carried out in 2011, when the Sanctuary took in 25 Lions from circuses in Bolivia.

Twenty four (24) lions were removed from circuses all over Peru in late 2014 by welfare workers working with the Peruvian authorities enforcing a new ban on animal circuses in the country.

Another nine (9) Lions were surrendered in Colombia in anticipation of enforcement of a similar law in that country. The Wild Animal Sanctuary has launched an appeal to raise funds for the rescue mission and to help care for the animals for the rest of their lives in Colorado.

At a cost of $8,000 per lion, per year, the Sanctuary will spend approximately $250,000 per year caring for the Lions. Over the next 15 to 20 years, the cost for their lifetime care could exceed 4 million dollars.

To learn more about helping to bring them home and to make a donation, you can visit the website.

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Rakesh Raman