Love is all around at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary

Love is in the air at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary this Valentine’s Day, as it is year round. A forever home for our growing rescued big cat family, our place of loving kindness is the purrfect environment for the animals we save. Living among, and surrounded by nature…. instead of a life behind bars. 

It’s summertime now in South Africa and there has been a glorious explosion of wildflowers at the sanctuary. Allowing these to go to seed and spread, and planting native trees and shrubs in the lions and tigers’ natural grassland habitats, we continue to steadily reclaim the land previously eroded by years of farming. Builders and other contractors who come to the sanctuary and previously worked on the site when it was a farm, remark how it has come to life. We have more flowers, insects and other animals – with over 50 species of bird identified to date!

This essential restoration of nature has been made possible thanks to ADI supporters and is good for the land, wildlife, and our animals too.

Providing our rescued lions and tigers with a beautiful, natural home and enriched lives is so important to us. Good for their mental and physical wellbeing, all of the animals also have extra features in their habitats and treats that have been created by the ADI team rather than nature to enjoy. These include platforms they can climb up onto and watch the world go by, tire swings to grapple and play with, and other enrichment such as boxes filled with hay and natural scents which they love – especially our younger boys – as you can see!

Our rescued animal couples Tarzan and Tanya, Sasha and Kumal, and Leo and Muñeca are also feeling the love.

Tarzan and Tanya

Truly devoted to one another, Tarzan and Tanya have been through some tough times together but now have the rest of their lives to enjoy.  Despite her diminutive stature, 8-year-old Tanya can more than stand up for herself and 9-year-old Tarzan, the scars on her face we believe from trying to defend her partner when he was badly injured in a fight with a tiger in the circus. While Tanya never strays too far from Tarzan so that she is there to protect him, he in return provides Tanya with lots of loving attention – and head washes! We look forward to sharing the more playful side we have seen since the couple received much-needed dental treatment at the ADI temporary rescue center in Guatemala, relieving them of years of pain.

ICYMI: This is the video that went viral (taken at the ADI Temporary Rescue Center in Guatemala)

Sasha and Kumal

Since their arrival at the sanctuary, 5-year-old Sasha and Kumal have been on the move, graduating to their main habitat after a period of observation in a smaller enclosure – the most space they had ever known.  Removed from a circus in Guatemala during the latest ADI Operation Liberty mission, Sasha and Kumal now have access to a 2.5 acre territory with all of the features that our other animals enjoy plus for the tigers, natural pools for them to relax and cool off in.  When this doting duo aren’t having fun and playing together – their tire swing a huge favorite – you will probably find Sasha and Kumal chilling out in the pool or cuddled up together asleep.

Leo and Muñeca

Rescued during the ADI Spirit of Freedom mission in Peru, Leo and Muñeca were one of the first residents to arrive at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary last year, along with their grown-up children Kiara, Africa, Rolex, Coco and Chino – the family rescued from the circus in two separate raids. The golden couple, who are approaching 17 years of age, have their very own love nest at the sanctuary. One of their favorite spots, a particular tree they can often be found beneath, and snoozing together in the shade.  Despite their age, Leo and Muñeca have certainly not lost their sense of adventure and love to explore their habitat. Like Tarzan, Leo has required extensive dental surgery to repair his smashed, damaged teeth but in his forever home with his Muñeca, he has plenty to smile about.

With your support, our young sanctuary – and the loving bonds our rescued big cats share – can continue to blossom and grow, and help many more animals in need.

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