Brothers reunited enjoying the new year

Kimba and Tomas see in the New Year basking in the sunshine, amongst the flowers of Augie Habitat at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. Many of the lions like to spend their mornings up on the platforms or lazing out in the most open parts of the habitats like this. The brothers were recently reunited having been separated as cubs in a circus in Guatemala.

Lions who found friends in 2022

One of the greatest cruelties of captive wildlife is the isolation of the victims. Living without anyone of their own kind. Ending the loneliness is one of our missions and in 2022, we began Operation Lonely Hearts at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary to bring together solitary animals. We saw the magic when Easy, a circus survivor from Colombia (who had lost her sister Shakira) and David, a circus survivor from Peru (who lost his sister Rapunzel) became best of friends. Lion brothers Tomas and Kimba were reunited after being separated as cubs in a circus in Guatemala.

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Brothers together for Christmas

It’s the news we have all been waiting for: Lions Kimba and Tomas are together! The boys were born in the same circus in Guatemala but are not believed to have been together before.

When Guatemala banned animals in circuses, Tomas was handed over to a zoo and a few months later ADI arrived in Guatemala and removed all of the remaining lions from the circus. Kimba would be heading to a new life in Africa but Tomas seemed to have missed out. Then, the ADI Temporary Rescue Unit received a call that the zoo no longer had room for Tomas and he would be dropped off in the next 25 minutes! Space was hastily prepared for him and 18 months later both lions were on a flight to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa.

Months of careful preparation have gone into the integration with the boys rotating in the same spaces, eating, separated, alongside each other and receiving doses of the natural ‘love’ hormone oxytocin before enjoying treats and toys in separate rooms in the house. Once the brothers were released into the same area they quickly settled and slept snuggled up together. They are currently being observed day and night in their feeding camp and house, they have generally stayed close to each other, and will be released into the main Augie Habitat in the coming days.


Friday’s patients doing fine

The lions and tigers who received veterinary treatment from Dr Peter Caldwell on Friday are all well and back enjoying life in their habitats. These pics were taken today.

Rey Ayacucho and brother Simba both had dental surgery from Professor Gerhard Steenkamp including extractions of damaged teeth and are receiving daily pain relief to prevent any discomfort. Both have had previous dental surgery on their broken teeth, smashed by circus workers. Rey Cusco was sedated for an examination of his front legs which are arthritic due to damage to the structure of his feet caused by cutting off the end of his toes to stop his claws growing, causing pain up his legs in each of the joints. Blood was taken to examine his inflammatory markers and his pain medication is being adapted. All three lions received vitamin injections. Tigers Max and Stripes were given vaccinations with drop out darts.

We hope everyone enjoyed our day of Facebook live broadcasts capturing a day of veterinary care at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.

Art auction to help lonely lion Ruben

Featuring seven beautiful works of animal art, the Animal Art Auction for Animal Defenders International is an incredible opportunity to own, or give as a gift, a unique piece of artwork AND support ADI’s rescue work. The six artists featured have kindly donated their work for the animals so ALL funds raised will go to HELP THE WORLD’S LONELIEST LION GO HOME – if you like what you see, PLACE A BID STARTING SATURDAY! 

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Tomas and Kimba update

Could these two brothers, who crossed the world to get home to Africa, be on the brink of being reunited?

Born in a circus in Guatemala, they lived their lives at either end of a series of cages on wheels. When Guatemala banned circuses, Tomas was handed to a zoo and Kimba remained with the circus. It turned out to be a lucky break for Kimba who, a few months later, was rescued by ADI as we enforced the ban. Then, Tomas had a lucky break – the zoo decided there was no place for him and with 25 minutes notice, Tomas was dropped at the ADI Temporary Rescue Unit. The boys flew to Africa and the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Here comes the summmer!

Yes, while many ADI supporters are wrapping up for winter, today is the second day of summer at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. It’s the time of year when Africa, pictured, and the other lions and tigers sprawl out and snooze in the morning sunshine on their platforms. Only when it gets really hot will she head to the shade under the trees, below the platform or in her house. Saved from a circus in Peru, we can’t turn back the clock but we can give animals like Africa a life as close to what nature intended for her. Today, that means lazing in the African sunshine and as the day cools and the sun sets, patrolling Davis Habitat with sister Kiara2.

To adopt Africa and help with her lifetime care she deserves:

PS: The Giving Tuesday target of Phase 1 to bring Ruben, the Armenian lion, to the sanctuary has been hit. THANK YOU