After a long time of agony and suffering in touring circuses in Peru and Colombia, 33 retired circus lions are feeling the African sun on their backs and grass beneath their feet. After a tremendous rescue attempt by Animal Defenders International, the lions made the remarkable trek back to their origin (ADI).
Rescuers encountered enormous hurdles in tracking down and saving the lions from illegal circuses in Peru and Colombia, according to Tim Phillips, co-founder of Animal Defenders International.
Although circus animals are prohibited in the nations, many traveling circuses still operate in isolated places and have gone underground since the restrictions were enacted. According to natureknows.org, ADI teams collaborated with government officials to locate and seize the animals.
In order to protect and rescue the animals, they were frequently joined by SWAT units and riot police. They then had to carry the lions back to their rescue centers from distant Andean locations.
It needed 18 months to complete this project! 33 lions were among the 100 animals saved. These magnificent large cats have spent their whole lives confined to small cages, maltreated, and maimed.
Plans were made to transport them back to Africa, where they were born! Unfortunately, due to their physical state, the lions will never be able to survive on their own. Claws have been removed and teeth have been shattered in several cases. In an interview, Tim stated, “They can’t go back to the wild, but they can go back home.”