Farewell Shakira and Sombra

We are heartbroken to bring the news that Shakira and Sombra have passed away, finally overcome by the health problems resulting from their suffering in circuses.  As devastated as we are, it is also a reminder of just how precious every day of freedom we can give these animals is. 

Animal Care Manager, Hadio, noticed that sweet lioness Shakira (from Colombia, sister of Easy), had a lump in her front armpit area and she was immediately taken to hospital. Dr Caldwell said it could not have been spotted sooner and we were optimistic because last year Shakira had x-rays and ultrasound for a chest infection, which showed no problems.  We felt it had been spotted quickly and she was prepared for surgery.  Our hopes were dashed. Tests showed a fast growing, aggressive cancer which had spread to her chest, lungs and elsewhere, nothing could be done for her. It was time to say goodbye. Shakira had been with us since we rescued her from a circus in Colombia in 2014.

Then, another blow. Sombra has passed away following heart failure. Vitamin deficiencies as cubs and inbreeding had left three of the tigers we rescued in Guatemala in 2018 with skull, nerve, and spine malformations. The tigresses have had multiple hospital visits, MRIs, various medications and health supplements since we took them from the circus, as we fought to break them free of the effects of their previous life. Bimbi passed away earlier this year and now, sadly, her sister has followed her.   

We always want our special residents to stay with us, but we can hold onto the fact that we succeeded in getting them out of the nightmare of the circus and gave them a sense of freedom and happiness in their final years. 

None of us will forget the sight of Shakira and Easy charging through their habitat, playing with pumpkins and other treats, and their silhouettes at sunset as they roared with the other lions; or Sombra plunging into the pool at the ADI Temporary Rescue Unit in Guatemala, experiencing a pool of water for the first time, and then chasing through the long grass and leaping onto the platforms at ADIWS.

They would never have known peace and freedom to run and play, without your support. Thank you.

We hope to introduce Easy to David, who has been sharing the lionesses’ Camo habitat, but in separated spaces. We will plan how best to care for Lupe without her sisters.

Much of the work you have supported in recent months at ADIWS has provided the tools to help these rescued animals, whose past can continue to have a devastating impact. You have provided the soft teff grass they sleep on, the hay bales stacked around their platforms to keep out the cold, and more than half of our lion and tiger houses with hospitalisation rooms – eleven of which are now heated. With your help, we will finish the job.  We will also continue to give the best possible veterinary care. We are heartbroken but the real tragedy would have been for them to have never left those circus cages.  ADI supporters took them from tiny cages in Colombia and Guatemala to years of running free at ADIWS in Africa.  As always, thank you for standing with us.

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