An Uplifting ‘Tail’ Of Rescue: Circus Lions Saved

What a sight this will be: Tomorrow, 25 lions will be airlifted from Bolivia to a wildlife sanctuary in the U.S., thanks to a dramatic rescue effort by Animal Defenders International (ADI).

This represents the final stage of a rescue effort initiated by ADI last November, in which the organization worked with Bolivian authorities to seize the malnourished and traumatized animals from what ADI calls “appalling conditions” at some of the country’s circuses.

The lions — which range in age from just three months to 15 years — will be transported to the 320-acre Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Colorado, and will later be moved to an 80-acre enclosure that is currently being built by TWAS and ADI.

With the population of these lovely creatures dwindling, it’s encouraging to see rescue efforts such as these. But there’s just a speck of irony here: Doesn’t being airlifted thousands of miles also qualify as a traumatic experience?

Yes, I’m being facetious; the animals will be loaded with tranquilizers. But the underlying issue of developing countries’ cruel treatment of animals still remains. Therefore, it is my hope that animal-rights’ organizations like ADI will continue to work with these poorer nations to save endangered populations — before it’s too late.

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