For over 33 circus lions have returned home to Africa after a lifetime of misery

After a lifetime of agony and torture in touring circuses in Peru and Colombia, thirty-three former circus lions are feeling the African sun on their backs and grass beneath their feet.

After a Herculean rescue attempt by Animal Defenders International, the lions made the remarkable trek back to their origin (ADI).

For over 33 circus lions have returned home to Africa after a lifetime of misery

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 operate in isolated places and have gone underground since the rules went into force.

Natureknows.org reports that ADI teams collaborated with government officials to locate and seize the animals.

For over 33 circus lions have returned home to Africa after a lifetime of misery

In order to secure and rescue the animals, they were frequently joined by SWAT troops and riot police.

They then had to transfer the lions back to their rescue centers from isolated places in the Andes.

It took 18 months to complete the project! Lions made up 33 of the 100 animals salvaged.

These gorgeous large cats have spent their whole lives in captivity, maltreated, and disfigured.

For over 33 circus lions have returned home to Africa after a lifetime of misery

They were flown back to their own country of origin, Africa!

Unfortunately, due to their physical state, the lions will never be able to survive on their own. Many of them have had their claws and fangs crushed.

The lions will spend the remainder of their lives at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Vaalwater, South Africa, in peace and freedom.

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