HIS RESCUE WAS BLOCKED; HE BRIEFLY BECAME THE MOST FAMOUS LION IN THE WORLD; HE WAS THREATENED WITH DEATH; BUT NOW, THANKS TO ADI SUPPORTERS HE IS GOING HOME TO AFRICA….
An angry day-long seizure in the historic Peruvian city of Cusco saw ADI remove three lions (Rey, Amazonas and Kiara) but we were blocked from taking Smith and Kiara’s cubs Mahla and Scarc. Smith is a huge male lion, but is castrated and so has no mane. During the circus shows, Circo Monaco would call a member of the audience into the lion cage and Smith would leap over them – a staggeringly irresponsible act. Just a few days after the circus had blocked his rescue it was business as usual and the circus invited a teacher into the ring. His trainer wandered behind the huge lion, not even keeping eye contact, whilst Smith towered over the nervous teacher, her head dipped almost offering her neck! Smith pounced, dragging her round like a ragdoll. Caught on film, the images raced around the world. Some called for Smith to be killed, but ADI met officials and appeared in the media saying it was the circus that was irresponsible with a wild animal and that the only one who did not volunteer to go in the ring was Smith. With the support of armed riot police and SWAT teams ADI returned rescuing Smith, cubs Scarc and Mahla (who we reunited with their mother) and a little spider monkey called Pepe.
Today, at the ADI rescue center in Peru, Smith is regarded as one of the sweetest and most playful lions and the next chapter in his life will see him and the other lions rescued by ADI flying to a new life at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. That’s where his real happy ending awaits.