Guatemalan circus animals on their way to SA sanctuary

Posted by Anita Froneman on 13 January 2020

After implementing a ban against the use of wild animals in circuses in Guatemala in 2017, the government invited London-based organisation Animal Defenders International (ADI) to help enforce the law.

The non-profit organisation has successfully rescued animals from similar circumstances in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru and gladly got involved. The organisation plans to rescue 12 tigers and five lions from the central American country and bring them to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa in 2020.

ADI has rescued a total of 15 tigers and six lions during its Operation Liberty mission in 2018, during which all of the animals received veterinary care and emergency treatment where needed.

‘Assisting governments with strategic support and enforcement of animal protection laws, Animal Defenders International conducts large-scale animal seizures including removing all circus animals; we have emptied circuses in Bolivia and Peru and taken the first group of Colombia’s circus animals, following circus bans in those countries,’ the organisation states on its website. ‘Now we are working in Guatemala. These rescue operations have a global impact, raising awareness worldwide, and encouraging other governments to act.

‘ADI is currently helping enforce Guatemala’s animal circus ban and has rescued 21 lions and tigers since May 2018. Cared for at our temporary rescue center in the country, most of the animals will be coming home to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa.’

The organisation has not given an exact date for bringing the cats to SA’s open plains but said it hopes to have the mission completed sooner rather than later.

Image: Twitter/ ADI


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