KEENESBURG, Colo., March 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Preparations are underway for what will be a historic and record-breaking animal rescue when 33 circus Lions collected by a British animal welfare group known as ADI, and an American wildlife rescue organization known as The Wild Animal Sanctuary, are relocated from Peru to a new home in the United States.
The Lions that lived their entire lives in tiny cages on the backs of dilapidated circus trucks and in run-down zoos will be moving to a huge new habitat of 100+ acres at The Wild Animal Sanctuary near Denver, Colorado, where construction is rapidly progressing on the new facilities which are being built by the non-profit Sanctuary.
After their arrival in Denver sometime during the first week of April, 2015, and becoming rehabilitated, the animals will be released into huge enclosures with lakes and rolling grassland – not unlike their natural habitat.
Pat Craig, The Wild Animal Sanctuary's Executive Director, who is overseeing the Sanctuary's part in the rescue operation: "In temporary compounds in Peru and Colombia, the Lions have more space than they ever had with the circuses, and they have toys and natural bedding. But these facilities are still small and very basic, so everyone has to be focused on keeping them safe and secure, whilst building up their strength and health to be ready for the move to the U.S."
"Their new lives will really begin when they arrive here in Colorado. These Lions have endured incredible pain and hardship, but their new home with us will be a natural oasis where they can live freely in family prides the way nature intended."
Every day progress is being made on the state of the art facilities in Colorado in readiness for the arrival of the Lions.
Meanwhile, work is being done to secure an aircraft large enough to take all of the animals to America. It will be the biggest airlift of its kind, far surpassing a similar rescue carried out in 2011, when the Sanctuary took in 25 Lions from circuses in Bolivia.
While U.K. welfare staff file paperwork necessary to move the lions, and the animals receive vaccinations required for international travel, workshops all over Lima are busy building the travel crates that will be used to move the Lions.
Twenty four (24) lions were removed from circuses all over Peru in late 2014 by welfare workers working with the Peruvian authorities enforcing a new ban on animal circuses in the country. Another nine (9) Lions were surrendered in Colombia in anticipation of enforcement of a similar law in that country. The Wild Animal Sanctuary has launched an appeal to raise funds for the incredible rescue mission and to help care for the animals for the rest of their lives in Colorado.
At a cost of $8,000 per lion, per year, the Sanctuary will spend approximately $250,000 per year caring for the Lions. Over the next 15 to 20 years, the cost for their lifetime care could exceed 4 million dollars. To learn more about helping to bring them home and to make a donation, please visit: http://www.PeruLions.org or call (303) 536-0118.
About The Wild Animal Sanctuary:
Located near Keenesburg, Colorado, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the largest nonprofit carnivore sanctuary in the World, with over 400 rescued Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves, Leopards and other carnivores living in large acreage natural habitats. Established in 1980, the Sanctuary operates a 720 acre refuge for abused, abandoned and confiscated carnivores and specializes in rehabilitating captive wildlife so they can be released into natural habitats where they can roam freely and live with others of their own kind. More information is available at www.wildanimalsanctuary.org.
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogotá, this London-based welfare group campaigns to protect animals in entertainment; replacement of animals in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide. ADI-gathered evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them. More information is available at www.ad-international.org
SOURCE The Wild Animal Sanctuary