In the dusty outskirts of Lima in Peru, the summer weather is hot. For the lions living at ADI’s rescue center, this dry hot weather echoes the climate of their ancestral homeland – Africa!
These lions, and their Colombian counterparts, have come so far from the desperate conditions and horrible abuse they endured in the circus. The loving care they continue to receive daily from ADI staff and volunteers has helped them recover from injuries due to violence and neglect they suffered for years before ADI rescued them.
At the same time as their physical injuries have healed, we have watched these formerly broken lions begin to let go of their fear of abuse, and relax. Spacious exercise enclosures funded through the generosity of ADI donors allow lions to stretch, jump, or just laze around if they feel like it. Most importantly, they allow lions – animals with complex social needs and intelligence – natural spaces to enjoy the company of their own kind. (With an occasional friendly tussle over a cardboard box or traffic cone toy!) These exercise enclosures are the largest spaces in which these animals have ever enjoyed any privacy or liberty – worlds away from the dismal circus cages that were the only home the majority of these lions ever knew before their rescue.
The best is yet to come, however! These photos show the beautiful red earth and majestic savannah trees that are part of the lions’ new home at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary. Environmentally friendly solar power will be used to electrify the outer fence that will keep the lions’ safe from any disturbance in their new home. These doors are the entrance to the bonding camps where the lions will begin their new lives in Africa. In these enclosures, families will be reintroduced, new friendships will be carefully monitored by qualified staff to minimize stress and prevent injuries.
The lions have enjoyed freedom from abuse and proper care for the first time in their lives at the ADI Rescue Center. We have watched them grow stronger, calmer, more confident, and more playful. Sometimes when a lion like King relaxes in the sun at the Rescue Center in Lima, and the golden eyes close with a contented sigh, you can almost hear the lion thinking “life can’t get any better than this.” What a wonderful surprise the lions have waiting for them at the end of the Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue!
We can’t wait to show these patient and beautiful animals just how much better life can be! Won’t you join ADI and Emoya and be a part of the lions’ life-changing journey home to Africa? Please donate today, and help us surpass their wildest expectations!