Smith is home

After a long hospital stay to identify Smith’s gastric issues, vet Dr Peter Caldwell found it was being caused by a permanent heart condition, meaning lifetime medication. Smith has restrictive cardiomyopathy which has caused scarring and damage to the heart. So far, he has responded well to medication and all of the fluid is now out of his abdomen.

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Kesari takes apart the play station

Our play station was created for Sasha Lioness to exercise her titanium leg. When she finished playing with it, we decided to give other animals in the sanctuary a turn. We even went live with the Cusco Pride playing with it – links in comments 👇👇). As well as catnip, the scents of the other animals are building up. This week the play station looked pretty small next to gentle giant Kesari! He began dismantling it. Like Mahla he tore off the green ball and ran off with it – he even tore away the wooden support it was attached to! It’ll need a few repairs before heading to the next habitat.

Watch this space for a special video of all the different reactions to the play station.

Solar power

Tarzan and Tanya bask in the sun’s last rays at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. As well as seeing two lions who escaped the misery of a circus in Guatemala to come home to their natural world in Africa, we are also seeing the greatest energy asset of the ADIWS go down for the day. This year, ADI is increasing its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change by making the entire sanctuary solar powered. Please support this and watch out for updates.

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Leo’s dinnertime stroll

When it’s time for feeding and medications at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, Resident Care Manager Johannes begins calling Leo. The grand old lion is usually nowhere to be seen and it can sometimes take a while to rouse the 20 year old lion from his slumber. But eventually, his huge head appears above the grass, he strolls towards Johannes, and they walk the 200m or so together to Leo’s house. These days Leo has his own feeding routine to ensure he eats all of his food (it was identified he was getting distracted and not eating everything). He first gets his meds in small pieces of meat, fed with tongs, then the team continue to feed the entire meal. Yes, our most senior resident is hand fed – he is a king after all!

Sunny with a side of shade

At the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, our residents enjoy freedom of choice. Here, ReyA opts to soak up some sun, while Simba chooses to snooze in the shade. The brothers were rescued by ADI from a circus in Peru, where they were confined to a tiny cage.

These A frames have been a big hit among our rescued lions and tigers who have received them so far (we hope to make more for all our residents). Lately, ReyA and Simba spend all day every day sleeping or relaxing in them – they can enjoy the shade while still seeing through them.

To help us build more for the rest of our big cats (UK £53 / US $66 / R1,200 each): Donate UK £ | Donate US $

You kept our sanctuary moving

Last year we asked for your help as many of the dirt roads around the sanctuary became impassable during rainy season. We feared it would reach crisis point if we were unable to move a sick animal. Two miles of roads were levelled, compacted and finally surfaced with recycled road surface, which gradually becomes more solid with use. Our roads have made every aspect of the sanctuary more efficient, giving us more time to do more time for the animals and keeping them safer. THANK YOU.

Special thanks who sponsored and named roads, with many dedicated in memory of loved ones (there are still roads that can be sponsored and named – click here for more information):

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Freedom for a family of donkeys

A family of six donkeys, one male, three females and two foals, that were abandoned when a tourist lodge went into administration, are starting a new life at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary (ADIWS), South Africa. Our friends at the SPCA Bloemfontein asked if we could help and when we said “Yes”, brought them straight to ADIWS to ensure they would not be killed by poachers. They are currently in a four-acre enclosure while we settle them in, but will eventually be able to roam freely around the sanctuary – they will not be allowed to breed. Enjoy their first steps to a new life.

Smith relaxing in hospital

Lion lying on his back on a bed of hay

The huge, beloved lion remains in hospital where Dr Caldwell has concluded that the root of his ill health issues is a heart problem. As our pic shows, Smith is relaxed and he is eating and taking his medication, but his condition is serious and Dr Caldwell will do what he can for our boy. We dearly hope that he will be back at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary soon. Please send your love, thoughts and prayers to Smith. (Smith has no mane because he was castrated before ADI rescued him from a circus in Peru)

Help keep them warm

Winter is coming in South Africa, where it can get very cold, sometimes with ice on the lake at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.
Hay bales are used to insulate the outdoor dens, which are also covered with conveyor belt rubber. Inside, a thick layer of nice soft teff grass. Although ADIWS residents have free access to their houses (heated for our seniors), they mainly like being out in their dens under their viewing platforms.

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Help Ruben roar

Fantastic news – RUBEN’S EXPORT PERMIT HAS BEEN ISSUED and we have applied for his import permit!
We’re getting ever closer to moving this lonely lion to the safety of the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa, where, for the first time in five years, he’ll be able to interact with his own kind.

Ruben was the last animal left in an abandoned private zoo in the Artsakh region. Confined to a small cage, his roars went unanswered. Eventually, he gave up, giving only the occasional pitiful cry.

But Ruben’s life will be transformed when he joins the rescued big cat community at the #ADIWildlifeSanctuary – and we cannot wait to hear him ROAR!

Ruben is currently being cared for in a bear sanctuary in Armenia run by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife & Cultural Assets (FPWC). ADI is funding his care.

Even a small donation will help as we get closer to Ruben’s big move! Donate UK £ | Donate US $