Caring for circus survivors Simba and ReyA

Simba and Rey are up and roaring again after a visit from Dr Caldwell. The lions and tigers at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary come from some of the worst possible conditions. In-breeding, malnutrition, physical abuse (blows to the head and smashed teeth), lack of exercise and years living confined on bare urine-soaked boards take their toll. Old age can come early for these warriors. Heartbreakingly, last week, years of abuse caught up with dear Bolillo rescued from a circus in Colombia.

Dr Caldwell treated two of our seniors Simba and ReyA, rescued from a small circus cage in the town of Ayacucho in the Andes mountains, seven and a half years ago. Simba has chronic arthritis in his hind legs causing him to have a bow-legged walk. Worryingly, he had started to limp on a front leg – very serious for a lion as they carry much of their weight on the front legs and push off from them. Our suspicions that Simba had overdone it, climbing up and down from his platform, were confirmed after successful treatment from Dr Caldwell. The ADIWS team quickly added additional steps to Simba’s main platform, and within 24 hours, he was back on top and surveying the world. Puzzlingly, ReyA is starting to lose his mane. He is otherwise in good shape, and Dr Caldwell found no infection or parasites, so took blood samples to investigate a possible hormone imbalance. Both lions were up and roaring before the sun set.

These animals face many challenges but thanks to your support, we got them home to Africa, living where nature intended in the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. They have a good diet with extra vitamin and mineral supplements, and the veterinary care to keep them comfortable in their well-deserved retirement.

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