21 Lions Have Been Rescued From Circuses All Over Peru With Support From British Organization ADI

Peru circus lions rescued by ADI
Rescued lions "Rolex" (L) and "Chino", are seen in their cages during quarantine at a temporary custody centre in Lima. Reuters/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

For the last six months, British organization ADI, Animal Defenders International, has been working alongside Peruvian authorities to rescue lions from circuses all over Peru. Now, having taken 21 lions, they believe the presence of such feline has been eradicated from circuses in the entire country. ADI president, Jan Creamer and Vice-president Tim Phillips traveled throughout the cities of Cusco, Trujillo and Arequipa, and think the rescued lions will be ready to go on a plane to the US by February 2015, so they can be placed in a wildlife reserve in Colorado, where they will live in 80 hectares.

Lions normally live in herds or families, but it is uncertain if these preserve the capacity to live in groups, which is why they’ve been placed in independent cages at the National Forest And Wildlife Service (Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre, Serfor). Creamer however believes that the majority of the rescued lions are related to Li, “a 12-year-old lion who might be the father of many of the those here,” she said.

“Giving them minimum basic cares and a few toys to play with, are the first steps to transforming their lives,” said Phillips, remembering the conditions in which they found the lions. “These animals will have sunshine on their backs; they will run through fields of grass; things they’ve never had,” he continued excited. Creamer also stated that the lion’s claws are cut at the circus, in a very cruel procedure which is almost like an amputation of every finger.

The law to ban the presence of wild animals in circus in Peru, will be effective next January, which is why Serfor worker, Fabiola Muñoz, said working proactively with ADI was of great help. “Most of the work done with the circuses was voluntary on their part. We explained the importance of getting in line with this law, which eventually will fall on them but it might come at a time when we don’t have an organization like ADI for support.”

Creamer and Phillips can’t wait to relive what they called "the best moment of our lives" when they liberated 25 lions from Bolivia in 2011, at the same wildlife reserve in Colorado. ADI will be able to fly the lions to the US, thanks to generous donations coming from all parts of the world. TV host Bob Barker recently donated as much as $500,000 to to help enforce Peru's new law and help get the lions to their new home.

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Natalie Roterman
Natalie Roterman

Natalie (from Mexico) joined Latin Times back in 2014 and she is all about pop culture and entertainment. She also has a genetic love for food and traveling. Follow her and get the scoop on the biggest upcoming films and TV shows, plus interviews with your favorite stars that you won’t want to miss. When she’s not writing for Latin Times, she’s either filming her next episode of “El Show de Natalie,” at a movie theater, binge-watching a new TV series, or planning her next meal.