Leo and Muñeca are two senior lions that were kept at a circus in Peru for a decade. Like all circus animals, they suffered tremendously in an unnatural environment. Sadly, in order to keep the lions from growing claws, the circus also cut off their toes.

Fortunately, Peru eventually placed a ban on animal circuses, which Animal Defenders International (ADI) came to help enforce. They were able to save Leo and the other male lions; however, the circus prevented them from seizing the lionesses. While ADI went through the process of receiving a court order, the circus went into hiding. It took six months, but ADI finally found them and was able to rescue the rest of the animals, including Leo’s companion, Muñeca. With 31 other lions, Leo and Muñeca were finally on their way to South Africa to live out the rest of their lives at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Leo and Muñeca will never have to be apart again. We’re so happy that they can finally enjoy the grass, the sun, and each other’s company in peace.

This video, “Love Reunited,” is the second of ADI’s three-parts short film series that features pairs of ex-circus big cats that have a loving bond, like Leo and Muñeca. The first part showed the rescue and relocation of Tarzan and Tanya from a circus in Guatemala to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa.

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