Lion and tiger football fun at ADI Wildlife Sanctuary

For some weekend fun, see our new video of lions and tigers at the ADIWS playing with their new footballs!

All animals are curious and enjoy new experiences and exploring their environment. Like us, exercising their intelligence and senses is important to their wellbeing. And the science now confirms what we all knew – non-human animals feel joy, pleasure, pain and fear much as we do. Knowing this, once we rescue our lions, tigers and other animals from circuses, we give them the largest possible natural habitats with space to run and lie in the sun (or soak in the pool if you are a tiger). But we are conscious that although the wildlife in their habitats is very entertaining, they still need new things to interest and engage them – this the reason we give them random objects like cardboard boxes with catnip/hay, pumpkins, melons and towers of hay bales to destroy. We are always looking for new toys to introduce. 

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Lioness Sasha’s recovery fun

Catnip boxes, melons, pumpkins, logs, and a swing keep Sasha entertained at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa (ADIWS) – all of which she enjoys after major surgery on her leg.

There is probably no better character to illustrate our work than indomitable lioness, Sasha. We found her in her circus cage in Guatemala, clearly in pain and limping badly. X-rays at the ADI Temporary Rescue Unit in Guatemala revealed a brutal declawing operation had resulted in a toe being crushed, instead of cut off as the circus owners intended. In our field hospital, the toe was amputated but we discovered disease had spread up her leg – she needed specialist help. After Sasha had settled in at ADIWS, she was taken to Dr Peter Caldwell, who removed 8cm of damaged bone and replaced it with a titanium scaffold and bone cement.

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