Family life

Rescued by ADI from a circus in Peru, Scarc, mother Kiara1, and aunt Amazonas relax together in the 6-acre Tohir Habitat at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. Mahla, Scarc’s sister, is not far away. Lions are the most social of all the cats and prides like this spend hours interacting and in each other’s company every day.

THE FAMILY WILL BE MISSING AMAZONAS, who was taken into hospital for eye surgery.

Amazonas on her way to hospital

Amazonas, beloved aunt of the Cusco pride, is on her way to hospital. There was no need for sedation and she calmly walked into her travel crate. For some time, veterinarian Dr Peter Caldwell has been monitoring her right eye, which has a cataract and the lens has prolapsed to the anterior chamber. For much of the time, the eye has looked normal with occasional flare-ups. It is highly likely the eye will need to be removed. Eye problems begin in the rescued lions as a result of years of malnutrition in the circus. There may also be a genetic component, as the lions with the worst eye problems are likely related. Amazonas’s sister Kiara of Cusco had an eye removed five years ago and Leo had his eye removed last year. Although they are in two separate family groups, the circus owners bred and sold cubs to others and asserted that Leo was father to most of Peru’s circus lions. Kiara of Huarral is definitely Leo’s daughter (as is Africa), and now has a serious cataract in one eye.

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Max and Stripes on the prowl

Max and Stripes on the prowl at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary – a reminder that cute cubs grow up to be very big. Here’s why you should never support cub petting….

When we first met Max and Stripes, they were in a circus in Guatemala, they were tiny and the circus would drag them away from their mother as they suckled, to be passed from person to person to cuddle and have their photo taken. There was another little cub too, but within weeks, he or she was dead. When ADI began enforcing Guatemala’s ban on animals in circuses we were able to remove nine tigers and two lions from the circus. But the circus blocked the removal of the cubs and four other tigers – still trying to cash in on them. Six months later, we rescued Max, Stripes and the other tigers. They were living in a circus cage in a junkyard.

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Picture perfect Kesari

Whose heart doesn’t melt when they look into Kesari’s handsome face with such distinctive eyes? Yet there are people who only see a trinket to hang on their wall – that could have been his fate. He fits their criteria: Big mane, beautiful face, huge lion.

When there was no room for Kesari at Pretoria Zoo, thankfully they did not put him up for sale but waited for a safe home, and when Captured In Africa Foundation contacted the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, how could we say “no” to that face!

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New look for rescued lion

Tarzan is enjoying life at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa, with his beloved protector Tanya after surgery, and his lip is healing well following his partial lip-lift by Dr Peter Caldwell and Professor Gerhard Steenkamp. The lion’s face had been torn apart by a tiger in a circus in Guatemala and the circus left it to heal hanging from his chin. After ADI rescued him, we pledged to see what could be done to help him. The surgeons were only able to do a partial lip lift because of the lack of tissue but, as those who knew him before will see, it has made a significant difference and we are sure he is more comfortable now. Tanya adores him just as much as ever.

We are rooting for Rey

(Pictured at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary a few weeks ago).

Rey Ayacucho (or Rey A) will be staying at Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic under the supervision of Dr Peter Caldwell for a while. His condition is potentially serious with a large mass in his chest that is pressing on his lungs. Dr Caldwell has stabilised him and is evaluating different treatments. Rey is comfortable right now, and has a good appetite but can only eat small portions. Much Love to Rey and wishing for him to come home again to be with brother Simba at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sun is resting

The incredibly lively Sun gets a little shut eye at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, but you know she’ll be playing again soon. Rescued from a circus in Guatemala, Sun lives with sisters Jade, Luna and Moon, known as the Spice Girls, they are four of the most playful animals we have ever rescued. And when it comes to toys like stacks of hay bales and giant catnip boxes, they are the most destructive. As winter approaches in South Africa, we will be adding hay bales for extra insulation around the dens for the lions and tigers. Each day the ADIWS team will be rebuilding the hay bales for the girls and each day they will tear them down and play with them. No wonder Sun needs to grab a rest when she can.

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Rey hospital update

Thank you to everyone who has been sending “Get Well” wishes to Rey Ayacucho, who is currently in hospital at the Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic. You will be pleased to know that Rey is looking much brighter and has regained some of his appetite. Lions are so stoic, as in the wild it is not safe to show any weakness, which is a big concern when one of our ADI Wildlife Sanctuary circus survivors starts looking unwell. Rey is under the watchful eye of Dr Peter Caldwell and will be having some tests, so we are all hoping for the best and seeing him back at the Sanctuary soon with his friend and brother Simba.

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