Circuses are no place for wild animals. Lions, bears, monkeys, elephants, and other animals should be in the wild, free to roam, interact with others, and engage in natural behaviors. Sadly, in circuses, these poor animals are kept in terrible conditions, trained using a variety of cruel methods, and forced to perform for human entertainment. Fortunately, several fantastic organizations are working to end this type of exploitation, one of which is Animal Defenders International.

This video shows the nearly 40 rescued big cats enjoying life at ADI’s 455-acre sanctuary in South Africa over the past year. It’s a hopeful reminder that change is possible. All of these animals previously suffered the cruel reality of circuses, and now, even though they cannot return to the wild per se, they can live out their lives in a natural setting. As ADI President Jan Creamer explained, “These intelligent, sentient animals managed to survive years in the circus in small bare cages, and we wanted to show the richness of their lives now – how the landscape transforms through the year and how the wildlife has returned.”

ADI is asking the public to help support the care of the circus survivors, building the facilities needed for animals who have endured a lifetime of abuse. Donate here or adopt a lion or tiger from ADIWS.

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