Freedom At Last: Rescued Lions Finally Home In South Africa


On the 30th of April, Africa welcomed the long awaited rescued lions from circuses in Peru and Columbia. As scheduled, the lions have been taken to the Emoya wild cat sanctuary. Report says they have been quarantined in the wildlife paradise.

The lions were taken to their eco-friendly abode on Sunday. As part of their rehabilitation process, they will be caged up in isolation for about 6 months.

It was observed that the lions were grossly abused by their circus trainers. They have grown visibly weary. The lions were airlifted in crates; courtesy of the UK based Animal Defenders International (ADI), pioneered by Tim Phillips, and his wife, Jan Creamer.

“To get him out of the circus is one miracle. To get him all the way home to Africa is incredible.”

The couple insist that the place of animals is simply where nature originally intended – in nature. Finally these brutalized lions will be free from starvation, beatings and abuse from circus trainers.

See Also: 33 Circus Lions Make Their Way Home To South Africa

Rescued Lions

For the journey back home, 9 of the lions were flown from Columbia to Peru where the 24 other lions joined from Lima. From there the journey home to Mama Africa officially set off.

“They are remarkably calm after such a long journey… It was a dream come true watching them step of those cages into their new homes in the African bush.”– Tim Phillip

Arriving South Africa it took a 6-hour drive to get to the Emoya sanctuary. The rescued lions for sure will have a better and healthier stay here. Here they will be free to unleash their natural traits without any form of harsh restrictions.

From the ill treatments in Southern America to the stress of being transported all the way down to their new and natural habitat, the lions are still not physically strong. Giving time though, wildlife enthusiast hopefully anticipate them to “roar purely for pleasure and not to entertain.”

Unfortunately the rescued lions might never be able to grasp or catch their game like they naturally should. This is because some have lost their claws and teeth to circus trainers. One other has lost an eye.

See Also: Lions Escape And Roam Kenya’s Capital

Generally speaking, the wild cats cannot survive on their own in the wilds. This is as a result of the many years they spent in brutal captivity. To help them out they will be under veterinary care and supervision till further notice. They will have water and be fed in their enclosures for the time being.

It is no surprise that these wounded lions are turning out to be the latest tourist attraction in town. Already many enjoyed watching them from their arrival up to their transfer from their crates into their new found sanctuaries. Eagerly they anticipate a positive change in the well-being of these lions.

CBS news reports that one of the 33 rescued lions named Zeus, “let out a mighty roar before stepping out of his cage into an enclosure where he will spend the coming months”. What can we say, freedom no matter how long is always worth it.