Eight big cats, four Bengal tigers and four lions, had previously lived in two different circuses. They lived in small, dirty cages and never saw the sky above them. That all changed when two separate rescue operations were led to free the big cats and give them better homes.
There were originally two tigers owned by a traveling circus, a male and a female. The tigers were abandoned by the circus in San Luis, Argentina and were looked after by a local farmer for over 15 years. The adult tigers had two cubs who also lived in captivity until all four of them were rescued. The rescue mission was carried out by Four Paws, a global organization that specializes in animal welfare. Dr. Amir Khalili is a veterinarian who works for Four Paws and helped lead the rescue. Khalil said of the rescued tigers: “These tigers have never felt grass or earth under their paws. It’s the first time they can see the sky above them, not just metal bars and a roof.” The tigers, named Sandro, Mafalda, Messi and Gustavo, now call the LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary their home sweet home.
These tigers aren’t the only big cats to have been saved from a life of confinement. Four lions had been kept in captivity and unwillingly performed in a French circus. Their home was a rusty cage with barely enough room for them to move. The lions were constantly moving from one location to the other, performing for a raucous crowd. After being handed over to a wildlife charity named The Born Free Foundation, the lions were eventually relocated to a new home. Because of their former captive life, the big cats weren’t in condition to live in the wild. Instead, they were moved to a wildlife sanctuary. The lions, named Angela, Bellone, Louga, and Saïda, now reside at an African reserve called Shamwari.
If you want to help rescue wild cats, consider donating to a charity that specializes in big cat rescue. Here are some places where you can donate:
ServiceSpace.org, S. S. (2022, April 4). Wildlife sanctuaries welcome lions, Tigers rescued from circuses. KarunaVirus. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.karunavirus.org/story/7121/wildlife-sanctuaries-welcome-lions-tigers-rescued-from-circuses
Bennett, P. (2022, March 23). Wildlife sanctuaries welcome lions, Tigers rescued from circuses. EcoWatch. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.ecowatch.com/wildlife-sanctuaries-lions-tigers-rescued-circuses.html
Webber, J. (2022, March 22). 8 big cats rescued from circuses arrive at wildlife sanctuaries in South Africa￼. Plant Based News. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://plantbasednews.org/culture/weird-wonderful/big-cats-circus-sanctuaries/
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