KEENESBURG, Colo., Nov. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three African Lions were transferred from Uruguay to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado after the animals were removed from Zoos within the country. The one adult male and two adult female Lions made the 9,600 mile journey to The Wild Animal Sanctuary where they will be rehabilitated and allowed to live the rest of their lives in large-acreage natural habitats.
Working in cooperation with the Uruguayan organization known as Animales Sin Hogar, The Wild Animal Sanctuary began planning the rescue in late 2013. The rescue came to fruition after Juan Echavarria, the Director of Animales Sin Hogar, contacted the animal sanctuary for assistance in removing and placing a number of exotic animals that remained in antiquated zoos within the country.
Representatives from The Wild Animal Sanctuary traveled to Uruguay earlier in 2014 to meet with a number of top government officials in order to discuss the country's aged Zoo system, and to offer advice on changing the way captive wildlife is displayed to the general public.
Sanctuary representatives were able to negotiate the release of several captive Tigers and Lions from a number of Uruguayan zoos, and agreed to transfer the animals to the Sanctuary's 720 acre facility in Colorado. A rescue team from The Wild Animal Sanctuary returned to Uruguay on October 23, 2014 to begin preparing the animals for their journey to the United States.
Over the next two days, the Sanctuary's rescue team worked side by side with Animales Sin Hogar personnel to load the African Lions into specially-designed transport crates and transport them to Montevideo where they were loaded onto a cargo jet headed for the United States.
Two Sanctuary caretakers accompanied the Lions on their epic journey to Colorado. After arriving at the facility located 30 miles northeast of Denver, CO, the Lions were released into temporary enclosures where they will spend the next 30 days going through the Sanctuary's specialized rehabilitation program. Once they have been rehabilitated, they will be able to join one of the many existing prides of African Lions already living freely at the Sanctuary.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary has plans to return to Uruguay in early 2015 to retrieve a number of Tigers still living in zoos there, as well as to travel to Argentina, to rescue additional African Lions, Tigers and Grizzly Bears living in one of that country's antiquated zoos.
About The Wild Animal Sanctuary:
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a 720 acre refuge for large carnivores that have been confiscated from illegal or abusive situations. The Sanctuary is located 30 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado near the town of Keenesburg. The non-profit organization currently cares for more than 350 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other large carnivores and provides lifelong care for its rescued animals. The Sanctuary is the oldest and largest carnivore sanctuary in existence, having been in operation since 1980. The facility is distinctive among others in that it provides large acreage natural habitats for its rescued animals to live in and roam freely. The Sanctuary is open daily to the public for educational purposes and features an elevated "Mile Into The Wild" Walkway that visitors utilize to see the animals living in their habitats.
SOURCE The Wild Animal Sanctuary