Displaying items by tag: south america
September 8, 2016- South Africa- A lion family has been reunited in the African bush after they were torn apart by a traveling circus in South America. Leo, his mate Muneca, and daughters Africa and Kiara are back together. Animal Defenders International (ADI) is appealing for funds to complete an enclosure in the African bush where they can live out their lives together. https://lionsbacktoafrica.org/donate-for-leo/
The wonderful news comes after tens of thousands of people watched a viral video of Leo, groggy with anesthetic following dental surgery, battling to reach his daughter Africa as she willed him on and reached out for her father. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm4NI_juV_0
Leo was rescued by ADI on the first day of a huge operation to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. But the circus had blocked the rescue of Muneca, Kiara and Africa, and then disappeared with them before a court could decide on their fate. ADI never gave up on them and eight months later tracked down the circus over 600 miles away, in a remote region near the border of Ecuador, and Leo’s family was saved.
During the biggest operation of its kind ever undertaken, ADI rescued over 100 animals (lions, bears, tigers, monkeys and others) as they closed down Peru’s wild animal circus industry. In May, ADI flew the 33 lions rescued during the mission to South Africa to start a new life at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary.
Since then, the lions have been steadily rehabilitated, introduced to each other and are undergoing an intense veterinary program to repair the damage inflicted on them in the circus. The lionesses are also being neutered to prevent breeding. These battered animals cannot return to the wild, but it is the aim of ADI and Emoya to give them a life as close to what nature intended as possible.
Leo, one of the oldest lions rescued had all of his canine teeth smashed in the circus and underwent three hours of dental surgery in August to repair the damage. Leading veterinary dentist Gerhard Steenkamp, who repaired the damage, extracting teeth and doing root canals, noted “His mouth has taken a hell of beating.” Muneca also had surgery for two smashed teeth.
The video of Leo recovering has moved tens of thousands of people online and shows the importance of family bonds in this social species. As he began to recover from anesthesia and slowly stumbled and dragged himself towards his anxious daughter Africa, who appeared to be urging him on from behind a fence, even reaching her paw out to him. Once Leo reaches her, they nuzzle and he settles beside her for a few minutes, but soon recovers and is back on his feet as if nothing had happened. At the time the lions were in “bonding” camps, preparing them for reintroduction, with mesh between them allowing contact but ensuring they could not fight. Now the family is back together.
Jan Creamer ADI President: “It is wonderful that against all of the odds, these lions have been saved from circus suffering and the family reunited back where nature intended in Africa. Now we are asking for people to help, and donate for a huge natural bush enclosure for this family, that will be their happy-ever-after.”
The final step for Leo and his family will be a huge natural bush enclosure with self-filling water holes and secure solar powered electric fences. ADI and Emoya need to complete these for all the lions rescued costing up to $150,000.
Please help Animal Defenders International raise $16,500 for Leo’s family enclosure, where the lions will be cared for life by ADI at Emoya. Any extra funds raised will go towards the enclosures for the other rescued lions and care for Leo and his family. https://lionsbacktoafrica.org/donate-for-leo/
Operation Spirit of Freedom
Leo was rescued as part of Animal Defenders International’s Operation Spirit of Freedom, a mission with Peru's authorities to enforce the ban on wild animals in circuses. In the biggest operation of its kind over 100 animals were rescued from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade. ADI previously enforced a ban on animals in circuses in Bolivia.
Animal Defenders International:
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.
Review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 paws
Our Brand Is Crisis
Warner Bros. Pictures, Smokehouse Pictures, RatPac Entertainment and Participant Media present an R rated, 107 minute, Comedy, Drama, directed by David Gordon Green, screenplay by Peter Straughan and documentary by Rachel Boynton with a theater release date of October 30, 2015.
Dream ending for circus lions rescued in South America:
Huge airlift to take 33 lions home to Africa
September 1, 2015 - Thirty-three lions rescued by Animal Defenders International (ADI) from ten circuses in Peru and Colombia are going home to their native Africa in the biggest ever airlift of its kind.
The lions, who endured years of confinement in cages on the backs of trucks and a brutal life being forced to perform in circuses, are heading to huge natural enclosures at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa.
The airlift in October will be the culmination of ADI’s work with the Governments of Peru and Colombia to eliminate the use of wild animals in circuses. ADI evidence of the abuse of circus animals in Latin America led to legislation banning animal acts and then ADI stepped in to help enforce the laws.
Almost all of the rescued lions have been mutilated to remove their claws, one has lost an eye, another is almost blind, and many have smashed and broken teeth because of their circus life, but they will retire in the African sunshine.
Jan Creamer, ADI President, who is leading the rescue mission in Peru, said: “We are delighted that these lions who have suffered so much will be going home to Africa where they belong. The climate and environment are perfect for them. When we visited Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary we knew this is a dream come true for ADI and, more importantly, the lions.”
ADI’s year-long Operation Spirit of Freedom, working with the Peru Government SERFOR and ATFFS wildlife departments, as well as police, has seen ADI raid circuses all over the country, facing violent confrontations, rescuing over 90 animals, travelling thousands of miles, and traversing the Andes with lions.
Nine ex-circus lions from Colombia will join 24 lions from Peru on the flight to South Africa. They are the first animals to be handed over following Colombia’s ban on wild animal circuses and taken into care by the CDMB regional wildlife authority in Bucaramanga. ADI assumed the lions’ care until the flight was finalized.
Home for the lions will be Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary set in 5,000 hectares on a private estate in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The sanctuary is already home to eight rescued lions and tigers in large acreage habitats of pristine African bush, has a no breeding policy and is not open to the public.
Savannah Heuser, founder of Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary says: “Mahatma Gandhi once said; 'Be the change that you wish to see in the world.' The change that is being offered to these 33 lions will change their entire world.
Their lives were forcibly wasted away in horrific tiny cages, the doing of mindless circus acts, I cannot start to comprehend the endless days suffering that these animals had to endure. They have a lot of lost time to make up for. They will live out the rest of their lives in a natural habitat, the closest they can ever come to freedom.”
ADI is chartering a Boeing 747 to transport all 33 lions with an ADI veterinary team, direct from Lima to Johannesburg and is funding the construction of habitats for the lions at Emoya, ready for the arrival of the lions in late October.
Over ninety animals have been rescued during the ADI operation, which also provided assistance to the Peruvian authorities on the issue of wildlife crime. ADI is concluding a huge construction program for over 50 native wild animals rescued during the operation in two parts of the Amazon, including bears, six species of monkeys, coati mundis, kinkajous, and a puma.
Jan Creamer paid tribute to governments, wildlife officials and the public in Peru and Colombia: “Seeing these lions go home to where they truly belong will be a testament to the commitment of wildlife officials and the governments in Peru and Colombia to change the treatment of animals.”
Peru’s wild animal circus ban was passed in 2011, and between August 2014 and July 2015, the ADI team identified and raided every circus with wild animals. Some circuses went underground as the raids commenced, but were eventually caught. Only one circus reported to have a lioness is still to be found, which was pursued into Ecuador by the ADI team in July this year. Wildlife officials and the local ADI team are on alert should the circus reappear.
ADI previously enforced Bolivia’s animal circus ban, relocating many animals within the country and taking 29 lions to two sanctuaries in the US, and a baboon to the UK. ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom in Peru and Colombia has been an even larger undertaking.
Savannah Heuser: “We at Emoya are deeply honored and privileged to be part of such a massive operation. We salute ADI for saving animals and ending suffering. Let's bring these 33 to Africa. Let's bring them home.”
Moving the lions to Africa increases the flight costs, but it is the ideal home for the animals and ADI believes, the right thing to do. An appeal has been launched to meet the increased flight costs as well as the enclosures for the lions.
Jan Creamer: “We really need financial support for this move. It is more expensive to relocate these animals to Africa, but who can put a price on taking them home to where they belong? It also sends such a clear and important message about protecting wildlife in their natural habitats and ranges.”
Until their flight, planned for end October, the lions will remain at the ADI Spirit of Freedom Rescue Center near Lima, Peru, where they will continue their rehabilitation under ADI veterinary supervision and enjoying their with grassy play pens, but the best is yet to come!
Please donate now to help get the lions home www.ad-international.org/hometoafrica