Animal Defenders International released a heartwarming video of 25 former circus lions as they were released into their new permanent 20-acre home at a Colorado sanctuary. The organization rescued the lions earlier this year from Bolivia in the largest evacuation mission of circus animals.
Prior to their rescue Pancho, Temuco, Chitara, Delila and Kenya had been part of small traveling circuses in Bolivia. They lived in cages that were the size of an average bed. It is truly amazing to watch their reaction to being set free at the Wildlife Sanctuary.
ADI trekked all over Bolivia rescuing the lions and other animals after the government legislated a ban on the use of wild animals in the country’s circuses.
The rescued lions arrived earlier at the sanctuary, but have been housed in a 15,000 square-foot biosphere to help them adjust to the cool Colorado weather. The biosphere was the first opportunity for many of the lions to walk around without being tethered or caged.
Their release onto the grounds of the sanctuary is the first time for these magnificent animals to run and play as nature intended.
The rescue of the lions was a direct result of ADI’s “Stop Circus Suffering” campaign which the organization is currently waging in the U.K. Operation Lion Ark was the largest rescue and airlift of lions ever seen in the world.
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