We are all becoming more aware of how cruel and exploitive animal circuses really are and with the help of social media and petitions, more of us are taking action to call for a complete ban on animal circuses. 45 countries around the world have now introduced bans on animal circuses and for the majority of if not all animal circuses, the welfare of the animals involved is always compromised due to the brutal training methods and violence they are subjected to.
For over 20 years now Animal Defenders International (ADI), have been pushing for the abolition of animal circuses and most recently, the international campaign group have managed to negotiate the handover of three lions from one circus as well as two lions and nine tigers from another. Many of the rescued big cats have been mutilated to remove their claws and at least two of the animals need treatment to repair damaged teeth.
The release of these animals, who have spent all their lives in a circus, forced to perform tricks, spending hours upon hours travelling on the road living in cramped and basic conditions, have now experienced their first moments of freedom thanks to ADI. Their successful mission involved enforcing the new Guatemalan law that bans animals performing tricks in circuses.
Further plans involve removing the remaining circus animals in Guatemala. Two circuses with 18 tigers, 2 more lions, 2 pumas, a camel, 2 spider monkeys, and a porcupine are not complying with the new law and the Guatemalan wildlife department (CONAP) is putting legal plans in place to seize and release them.
Jan Creamer, the President of Animal Defender International has stated that “This is a new beginning for these animals – never again will they be forced to perform or beaten into submission. Their suffering is over and we hope the public will help us give them a better, richer life.”
A temporary rescue centre has been built to home the liberated animals and over the next few months the necessary health checks and documentation will be completed to ensure the animals can be sent to their forever homes. For the lions, their new home will be a freshly built sanctuary in South Africa that has over 450 acres of natural habitat for the animals to roam on. The project is being supported by Joanna Lumley and Ed Asner. The tigers have been offered homes at two US tiger sanctuaries – Big Cat Rescue and Tigers for Tomorrow.
Click here to help out with the project and donate funds.