In the early hours of Sunday morning, January 19, the 17 lions and tigers rescued from circuses in Guatemala were loaded onto trucks that would take them to the airport. It marked the beginning of a journey of a lifetime to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, their forever home.
After boarding the freedom flight, the animals settled down for the long journey, which stopped off in Mexico and Belgium and, changing planes, Qatar on the way. The ADI team put calming lavender oil, which the big cats love, in each travel crate and provided the 17 tigers and lions with snacks and water throughout, and ensured they were comfortable during the flights.
In Mexico, Dr Howard Rosner, the veterinarian on board, gave medication to Bimbi, Lupe and Sombra to prevent seizures that these tigers, who are sisters, all suffer. And after a change of flight in Qatar,
On Tuesday morning, January 21, the 12 tigers and 5 lions touched down on African soil. From Johannesburg, they traveled by truck to their final destination: the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, a place of loving kindness.
No more circuses with animals
Concluding the ADI Operation Liberty mission to assist the Guatemala government with enforcement of a ban on all animals in circuses – an important rescue that has changed the way that animals are treated in the country – there are now no circuses touring Guatemala with animals.
Saved from circus suffering, can you help care for lions Kimba, Sasha, Tomas, Tarzan and Tanya and tigers Itza, Sombra, Max, Stripes, Bimbi, Lupe, Sun, Moon, Jade, Luna, Sasha and Kumal for life?
Our thanks to GreaterGood.org, Dr Betsy Coville and Priority Worldwide, without whom the Operation Liberty Airlift would not have been possible; to Imperial Logistics for ground transportation; to all ADI supporters who have helped during the Operation Liberty mission; to the Guatemala government for passing the ban.