It’s been two months since the heartbreaking deaths of dear José and Liso, the sweet, elderly ex-circus lions killed by evil criminals in their new sanctuary home we built in their native Africa. ADI responded with heavyweight security (no details; criminals check the web) and an expert-led investigation to catch the murderers of our family. Everything’s progressing well, but it is not enough. This is now personal. Once José and Liso’s killers are in jail, there are all the other vulnerable animals in sanctuaries. So, we’re announcing the new José & Liso Anti-Poaching Fund, raising $100,000/£80,000 to support creation of new dedicated anti-poaching units to catch the poachers and protect the animals.
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Everyone at Animal Defenders International and Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary is heartbroken and devastated that two ADI family members, two of our rescued lions, have been murdered in an evil attack on Emoya in South Africa.
Ex-circus lions and best friends, José and Liso were relocated from South America last year along with thirty others – the conclusion of ten years of work for ADI, following the sad lives of these animals, campaigning for them and finally their rescue, which brought them home to their native environment, where they blossomed, growing in health and strength.
This cowardly killing of two innocent souls, sweet, elderly lions, one of whom had suffered brain damage from blows to the head in the circus, must not be left unpunished. The crime is currently being investigated by South Africa’s police and anti-poaching units.
An ADI team including President Jan Creamer, is flying to South Africa to speak with the authorities to see what ADI can do to help bring the perpetrators to justice. We are keeping all options on the table until we speak with the police and anti-poaching units, including investigations and the offer of a substantial reward for information leading to convictions; we will be taking advice on the best measures.
The safety of the remaining lions is our top priority. ADI and Emoya are reviewing all security measures; armed guards are in place and a range of additional security measures are being evaluated, including, if appropriate, evacuation of the lions whilst these are implemented.
Information is still being gathered and we will not update further until we have spoken with the police and Emoya.
On Sunday, March 5, 7:00pm ET/PT – CBS 60 Minutes will air ADI’s dramatic rescue of 33 circus lions from Peru and Colombia back to their native Africa.
60 Minutes traveled to Peru to meet the lions and will show exclusive on the ground footage from the ADI rescue center in Peru, as the lions are loaded into their travel crates and prepare for their flight home to Africa. You will get to meet some of the animals at the rescue center and 60 Minutes sits down to talk with the rescuers, ADI President Jan Creamer and Vice President Tim Phillips, about the work that went into this massive, complex rescue operation. Watch the trailer here!
ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom is the biggest operation of its kind, collaborating with Peru authorities to enforce its law banning wild animal circuses and raiding circuses all over the country. As part of its ongoing mission, ADI saved 109 animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru, with the final bear taken back to the forest just last week.
ADI President Jan Creamer said, “Viewers will be thrilled by 60 Minutes exclusive look as rescuers race against the clock to carefully load our precious cargo of 33 rescued lions for their long journey home to Africa where freedom roars. Circuses across Peru were raided and animals saved from suffering in circuses. Thanks to determined wildlife officials and public support, we’ve been able to save over 100 animals. Now we are asking people to help us build the lions’ forever homes.”
Donate now with a one-time donation, or you can also set up a monthly donation to help support the animals rescued during Operation Spirit of Freedom.