Meet the lions:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Help care for the lions in their forever home:


On April 29th 2016,  more than thirty lions boarded the ADI Spirit of Freedom Flight taking them home to Africa. Two days later the lions, rescued by ADI from circuses in Peru and Colombia, set foot on African soil for the very first time. Returning to their ancestral home, the lions will live out their lives at the wonderful Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Vaalwater, Limpopo, South Africa. Home to the African bush.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To begin with, the lions live in bonding camps, the largest enclosures they have ever known, where families are reintroduced to one another and the lions become familiarised with their new home.

The second phase of the release, is the construction of huge natural bush habitats (a separate one for each family or pair) with watering holes, platforms, trees, vegetation all safely secure behind double electric fencing (outside is included to prevent access by other animals).

LBTA_JuniorThere are two large family prides and several pairs and some who are being introduced to see whether they will form a family. Some of our older guys, like Ricardo and Joseph who both have sight problems, are being provided with ‘special needs’ type enclosures with anything that could harm them removed, where they can be closely monitored and have facilities installed to help them see their way around. The larger families, like Rey and Kiara Cusco and their family have 2 hectares – plenty of room to run, play, explore. We’re providing eleven separate habitats in total – but Emoya has all the space that we need.

The total cost of completing construction of the lion habitats will be nearly $340,000

How you can help – why not do something today for the lions:

  • Send a donation today, for your favourite animals!
  • Start a collection among friends, family, college or work colleagues
  • Organise a fundraising event for the lions (bake sale, pub fundraiser, at home fundraiser, a themed ‘lion party’, dressed in your best lion outfit; competitions, etc.)
  • Organise a sponsored event for the lions (sky dive, dog walk, running, climbing events)

Maybe your local radio or TV will cover the event! We can help you with that

After a lifetime of suffering in tiny, bare cages, poor (or no) food, being beaten to perform, their teeth smashed and their toes cut off to stop their claws growing, these animals are now enjoying freedom.

They can’t thank you, but allow us to say a HUGE and HEARTFELT ‘Thank You’, from:LBTA_IMG_5770

  • the Cusco family: Rey, Kiara, Scarc, Mahla, Amazonas and Smith
  • the Huarral family: Leo, Coco, Chino, Rolex, Muñeca, Africa, Kiara
  • the Ayacucho brothers: Rey and Simba
  • David from Arequipa
  • the Huancayo boys: King, Junior and on his own, Ricardo the one-eyed lion
  • Joseph, the almost-blind lion
  • the Bucaramanga family: Barbie, Bolillo, Bumba, Junior, Easy, Shakira, Iron, Ojiclaro and Zeus

Can you help support our rescued lions?

Set in 5,000 hectares of pristine African bush on a private estate the sanctuary has a no breeding policy and is not open to the public, providing our rescued lions with the peaceful retirement they deserve.

ADI and Emoya is committed to these animals’ ongoing care – they will be provided with food and clean water each day, toys and straw bales for amusement, and their bonding camps will let our vets and carers get up close to check for any injuries or other health issues.

LBTA_BUmba3Become an ADI Rescuer

  • $18,000 / £14,500 / ZAR 246,900 – will complete a 5 acre natural bush habitat
  • $2,500 / £2,000 / ZAR 34,295 – will help build a special needs enclosure
  • $375 / £300 / ZAR 5,160 – will feed a lion for a month
  • $170 / £135 / ZAR 2,400 – will provide 1,000 sq ft of safe enclosed habitat
  • $87.50 / £70 / ZAR 1,200 – will feed a lion for one week
  • $30 / £25 / ZAR 415 – will help provide veterinary care
  • $12.50 / £10 / ZAR 170 – will feed a lion for a day

Becoming an ADI Rescuer not only helps these lions, but it helps fund more rescues in the future – all those animals who have not yet been lucky enough to get the world’s attention.

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 live out their lives in the African sunshine.

Before their freedom flight the lions were cared for at the ADI Spirit of Freedom Rescue Centre near Lima, Peru, where they were rehabilitated under ADI veterinary supervision and enjoyed grassy play pens.

What it means to be an ADI Rescuer

ADI Rescuers are the front line against animal suffering. Our teams seek out and expose the suffering of animals and educate the public to catalzye change for animals. Then when laws are passed to protect animals, we go back and offer to help rescue the animals affected by the new law.

We clear countries of suffering animals.

In a circus in Colombia, Ojiclaro and Iron look sad and defeated.

The Spirit of Freedom Flight marked the conclusion of ADI’s work with the government of Peru to end the use of wild animals in circuses. There are no more wild animals suffering in circuses in Peru.

In circusOur lions from Colombia were the first to be handed over voluntarily by a circus, following Colombia’s ban on wild animals in circuses.  However, the Government of Colombia has asked ADI to help with a further 75 exotic animals which remain with other circuses, and are now illegal. So we are talking with them about the future for these animals.

Mexico has also  passed their ban on wild animal circuses and we have been talking to officials about the arrangements for releasing those animals from the circuses.

ADI evidence of the abuse of circus animals in Latin America has led to legislation banning animal acts in seven countries across the continent.  Each time a new law comes into force, we offer to assist governments with enforcing the law and removing the animals from the circuses.

You can join our rescue team by getting behind us with raising funds to get us into new countries; by volunteering in our temporary rescue centres and helping to provide a secure future for our rescued animals.

You can become part of the ADI Rescue Team – become an ADI Rescuer and your donation will help ADI to rescue not only these animals, but other animals in future. Please help today