At the end of January, the 17 tigers and lions rescued by ADI from circuses in Guatemala touched down in South Africa and headed to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.
The timing now looks like one of the luckiest breaks ever!
We had been under immense pressure from Guatemala officials, to get the animals out of the country fast. Flights were blocked due to transit restrictions in the US and Europe; costs escalated massively. If we could have had a few weeks more to get a cheaper flight, a shorter route, we would probably have taken it.
The thought of moving those animals now is unimaginable, with flights cancelled and countries closed – on Thursday, March 26th, South Africa goes into national lockdown.
A delay in getting the animals home might have seen them stuck in Guatemala, doomed. The people trying to disrupt the rescue and get control of the animals were waiting to move in. Against all odds, we got the animals out of Guatemala – just in time!
Today, tigers Itza, Max, Stripes, Sombra, Lupe, Bimbi, Jade, Luna, Sun, Moon, Sasha and Kumal, and lions Tomas, Kimba, Sasha, Tarzan and Tanya are enjoying chasing through the long grass, sunning on platforms and soaking in their pools at the sanctuary.
ADI takes on famously difficult rescues and this is not the first time we have been forced down seemingly the hardest possible route and it has turned out for the best.
Thank you to GreaterGood.org and everyone who helped get them home in the nick of time! The slideshow above shows the incredible journey the animals took before enjoying the beginning of their new life.
If you are able to help with the emergency measures at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary to cope with COVID-19 disruption, please donate here: