Simba watches over ReyA

We understand the importance of social relationships for lions, so it was no surprise to see Simba watch over his brother ReyA as he recovered from sedation. Rey was examined by Dr Peter Caldwell after he developed a limp and was off his food. Simba sat at the door of their house until his brother was fully conscious. Rey is limping less now and has eaten a little more this week but remains subdued and we are all concerned. He is being closely monitored and Dr Caldwell is adapting his medication. WE ARE ALL HOPING REY WILL GET WELL SOON.

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Lions get a veterinary checkup

Dr Peter Caldwell has had a busy day at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary checking our residents. Five lions were sedated for examination and blood/urine samples for testing: ReyA, Leo, Muñeca, Kiara2 and Africa. The most common health issues that our rescued lions face are related to the abuse and deprivation suffered in their former circus life, including: dental problems due to teeth being smashed and left to get infected, eye problems from malnutrition or brain damage from blows to the head and arthritis due to lack of exercise and living on hard, urine-soaked boards. We will often see a significant improvement in cataracts when the lions are put on a healthy diet and the problems can be held at bay for several years, but it does tend to return. ADI rescued all of these lions from circuses in Peru 8 years ago.

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Girls just want to have fun

Look carefully and you can see Africa in the long grass on the right, she pounces on Kiara and then they hurtle off into their enclosure at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. It’s a simple scene that in an instant tells you what’s wrong with circuses and much of the way these animals are forced to live in captivity. These animals need space and an environment in which they can run and express themselves. Africa and Kiara were rescued from a circus in Peru where they lived for years in a cage the size of a queen size bed. Don’t believe the nonsense that circus owners spout that these are sedentary animals that just laze around. These are powerful athletes that want, indeed need, to run and play – they need the space to run and get up to full speed.

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Tarzan looking good after surgery

The ‘partial-lip-lift’ performed by veterinary surgeons Dr Peter Caldwell and Prof Gerhard Steenkamp, four weeks ago, has healed. Tarzan was attacked by a tiger in a circus in Guatemala and his lower lip was torn from his face and left dangling from his chin. It healed there. When Guatemala banned animals in circuses, ADI rescued the animals, including Tarzan, and brought him to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. Although no longer causing him pain, Tarzan’s lip would drag and catch dirt and food. The surgeons did not have enough tissue to work with so could only partially bring the lip back to its correct position, but when you see the last picture of Tarzan, when ADI first rescued him, you can see what a significant difference it has made. We believe that Tarzan is more comfortable and his beloved Tanya thinks he’s just as gorgeous as ever.

Cuddle up with an Easter Leo

Easter symbolizes hope and new life, and that is very much the story of our rescued lions and tigers at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. Leo is the Sanctuary father figure and the most senior lion, at 19 years old. Leo was rescued and came to the ADIWS with mate Muñeca and their children Africa, Kiara, Rolex, Chino and Coco – we were told he was daddy to many of the lions in Peru’s circuses. As befits our most senior resident, we act quickly if King Leo has a potential health issue. Most recently, he seemed to be not liking his food and losing a little weight, so we scheduled a dental check for both Leo and Muñeca. In the meantime, we tried hand-feeding with tongs with a variety of foods, cut into small pieces – and feeding him twice a day. Leo picked up straight away, and it seems he likes to be hand fed. Understanding his message, we have adjusted our level of service to boutique hotel style with gold service for seniors!

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Max looking at you

Rescued from a circus in Guatemala as a tiny cub, where he was being passed from person to person for photos, Max now enjoys life at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. He roams the 5+acre Kakato (by April Fong) Habitat with brother Stripes. Max is the more outgoing and inquisitive of the tigers and, as he is here, always the first to come and check out anyone passing.

Max is a reminder of why you should never support petting and photos with lion and tiger cubs. Aside from the distress to mother and babies, tigers grow up to be very big just like Max!

Jade checks out her new trees

March saw 24 more indigenous karee trees – sponsored by Trees for Tigers USA – planted at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. This is part of our program of re-wildling the sanctuary land with indigenous plants to encourage local wildlife and provide rich habitats for our rescued lions and tigers. The sanctuary has 455 acres, much of which was denuded by farming, so we are re-planting and giving it back to the animals. These trees are an investment that will grow and grow and provide shelter for generations of rescued animals to come – we just have to keep watering them! Jade, who was rescued from a circus in Guatemala and who lives with sisters Luna, Sun and Moon, seems to approve. Although she didn’t help by tearing up the pipes we planted to water the trees and turning them into toys for her and her Spice Girl sisters!