Sacred Baboon Rescued From Circus

Tilin is an 18 year-old Hamadryras baboon that would be considered a “Sacred Baboon” in his homeland of Egypt. 


Instead Tilin suffered in a Bolivian circus until his release this week to an international animal welfare organization.


Animal Defenders International (ADI) brought Tilin to his new home at the Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary in Berkshire, UK after the Bolivian government initiated the “world’s first ban of animals in circuses.”  Bob Barker, animal activist and celebrity funded the journey.


Tilin’s rescue followed an earlier mission of 4 lions from the circus that were rehomed in a California sanctuary, earlier this summer.


The Rescue Mission

Tilin spent the past 18 years in a traveling Bolivian circus.  When he wasn’t performing he lived in solitary confinement, chained up in a cage.


“Despite his suffering, Tilin has a gentle, kind personality, is highly intelligent and sensitive,” said Jan Creamer, president of ADI.


It took 5 days for Tilin and the ADI team to travel from Bolivia to London.  Tilin traveled in a climate controlled enclosure, alongside a veterinarian who saw to his needs. 


The group went from Bolivia to Madrid where the baboon was quarantined.  Then the team flew off to Heathrow Airport in London. 


A special reception was held in his honor when Tilin finally landed at the airport – safe and sound.  Tilin’s entire journey can be seen on a series of video diaries.  Click Here.


Bolivia’s Circus Ban

ADI revealed in a press release that after years of undercover investigations, campaigning and lobbying, the Bolivian Government made the landmark decision to ban both wild and domestic animals from the country’s circuses.


This type of comprehensive ban on the use of any animal in a circus is a world first for South America and countries around the globe.


ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering Campaign proved to the Bolivian Government that animals were:

  • Exposed to cruel training techniques
  • Housed in cramped cages
  • Under extreme stress from constant traveling
  • Expected to perform unnatural behaviors
  • Deprived of social interaction with their own species

These are the same conditions thousand of animals endure every day in circuses around the world.


Tilin arrived at the monkey sanctuary earlier this week.  He has an indoor and outdoor enclosure and more room to roam than he has ever known.  He will spend the next 6 months getting used to his new home, but still living alone. 


Ultimately ADI hopes he will be able to transfer and live with the other baboons at the sanctuary.


Bob Barker said, “Baboons are highly social and extremely intelligent animals that do not belong in circuses where they are forced to live in cramped quarters and suffer physical abuse and neglect at the hands of under qualified trainers and circus operators.  Nothing could be more inhumane and callous than forcing animals to endure a life of suffering simply for human amusement and profit.”


Click Here to sign the Care2 Petition to Stop Circus Animal Cruelty.

Animal Defenders International


Cathy Noftz
Cathy Noftz6 years ago

~We don't need a circus, animals need to be in the wild and not cruelly treated!~

John S.
Past Member 6 years ago

That is a great thing to do.

Janel C.
Janel V7 years ago

I hate circuses, rodeos, bullfights,zoos,Sea World etc. Leave them in the wild,and the ones that have been domesticated should be released to a sanctuary.

Ritva J.
Ritva J7 years ago

Animals are not toys!

lynda c.
lynda c7 years ago

Wow, another step in the right direction, and I am very proud of Bolivia for making their stand on banning animals from all circus's...amazing!!! Lets hope many other countries will now follow!!!!

Tamila mendoza
Tamila mendoza7 years ago

Great story

Carol Cowbrough
Carol C7 years ago

What a great story.

Jennifer Martin
Jennifer M7 years ago

Wonderful news!! I thank you Bolivia and Bob Barker.

Adam T.
Adam L7 years ago

Whenever I think of Bolivia I think of cocaine...but this is something good and positive for a change, hopefully other countries including the U.S. recognize this and implement the same measures. Congratulations to Bolivia, Bob, and anyone else that facilitated this.

Maria GOMEZ7 years ago

Most countries should follow Bolivia's steps! Good for Bolivia's government. Nothing more humilliating than animals working in circuses.