These caged lions have been used as circus performers, suffering for decades traveling in cramped, rusted cages across the country. Circuses in Guatemala were given 12 months to relocate their animals following a ban on the use of animals in circuses that came into force in April. And while this is good and many animals are now free, there are five lions that are still being held in appalling conditions waiting to be rescued.
GreaterGood.org, a non-profit leader promoting the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet, and ADI, who lobby to protect animals on issues such as animals in entertainment, are hoping to rescue these lions. They want to provide the animals with safe, suitable holding units once they have been removed from their current cruel cages, and once they have been given food and care, will airlift the lions to ADI’s wildlife sanctuary in Africa.
ADI Colombia’s Yani Mateus has relocated to Guatemala to coordinate ADI’s food relief efforts, construction of those suitable holding units, and will assist with all ongoing efforts to secure the rest of the animals. The Guatemalan government is also taking part in these rescue efforts by providing initial emergency relief.
ADI President Jan Creamer said, “These animals urgently need our help and we hope, with the support of GreaterGood.org and the public, we can save them. As soon as they are safely in our care, we can prepare to give them a wonderful new life. With every donation, we are one step closer to giving these animals, who have spent their lives being forced to perform and confined to their circus cages, a life in Africa where they belong.”
Circuses are known the world over for thrilling entertainment that has unfortunately become synonymous with animal cruelty and lack of safety. Even in staged stunts where animals are trained to perform, things can go horribly wrong. And animals the size of lions are not meant to be kept in cramped conditions without freedom of movement.
Lions are not like our house cats. They can’t be satisfied with small enclosures and need the freedom to hunt and explore as they are designed to do. Efforts by organizations such as ADI and the Born Free Foundation hope to return as many circus animals back to their natural environments as possible. It is heartbreaking to watch these beautiful animals return to what they should already know and not know how to behave, or for them to have to experience their natural habitats for the first time.
Please donate to this campaign to rescue these five circus lions if you can.
Image Source: ADI